Proposed complaint fleshes out black officers grievances

by Jordan Green

The Rev. Cardes Brown, a member of the Pulpit Forum, has spoken on behalf of black police officers alleging a climate of racial hostility within the department. (photo by Jordan Green)

Thirty-nine black police officers suingthe Greensboro Police Department fordiscrimination are asking the federalcourts to allow a second amended complaintthat includes a new piece of informationabout police Detective Scott Sanders’investigative tactics, along with allegationsculled from various media accounts. The plaintiffs allege that when Sandersreturned to duty after a Guilford County juryacquitted him of an illegal intrusion charge inFebruary, he initially denied using a keystrokemonitoring device to download about a yearof plaintiff Antuan Hinson’s e-mails, butafter being confronted with evidence to thecontrary admitted it but explained the probeas a mistake.The plaintiffs say that and other actionsto monitor black officers were done withoutprobable cause or reasonable suspicion.Lawyer Seth Cohen, who represents Sandersand former Deputy Chief Randall Brady, saidhe planned to file a formal response this week,but would refrain from responding on behalfof either of his clients. John Bloss, a lawyer who is part of theteam representing the plaintiffs, said theinformation was gleaned from anonymoussources within the police department. The plaintiffs’ proposed amendedcomplaint also incorporates informationoriginally reported by WFMY News andYES! Weekly, without making attribution. The plaintiffs have challenged thedefendants’ claim that lineup books includedonly black officers who were on duty whenan alleged sexual assault by a black officeroccurred, contending that the defendantsknew “no such sexual assault occurred, andthat none of the lineup books were limited touniformed black officers who were on dutyon that particular shift.” The proposed amended complaintelaborates, “Indeed, current chief of theGreensboro Police Department, Timothy R.Bellamy, has publicly stated, ‘We checkedthat system and nowhere can we find areport that fits the nature of what we’vebeen investigating involving a police officercommitting a sexual offense against asuspect.’” The quote is taken from a report byWFMY News reporter Frank Mickens. A second component comes frominformation gleaned from YES! Weekly publicrecords request: “Greensboro Public AffairsDirector Pat Boswell has acknowledgedin a February 2008 e-mail: ‘At this time, itseems that the GPD does not have a date forthis alleged event.’ And Greensboro PoliceDepartment Attorney Maurice Cawn has

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