ST. LOUIS – In the middle of an internal investigation dealing with racism in the St. Louis County Police Department, the leader of the Diversity and Inclusion Unit wants to step down.
This is the same officer who made headlines across the nation when he settled a $10.5 million lawsuit due to discrimination from the police department. Lt. Keith Wildhaber said he was harshly reprimanded after offering statements to the media about the St. Louis County dispatcher using a racial slur toward another employee while on the job, according to our partners at the Post-Dispatch.
On Sunday FOX 2 reported on the open internal investigation into the use of a racial slur directed toward a black north county officer. Wildhaber told one media outlet, “this type of language is disgusting and has no place in our department or in society. Immediate and decisive action must be taken by department leadership. We cannot continue to deny there is systemic racism and discrimination in our department. It’s time to dismantle it.”
He then said he was called into human resources and told not to give any more statements to the media. He now wants to transfer from the Diversity and Inclusion Unit.
The Ethical Society of Police said this about the fallout.
It is obvious that the awarding of a multimillion-dollar settlement for previous discrimination was not a deterrent for the continued behavior. This should serve as further evidence of the Department’s consistent tactic of denial, cover-up, silence and/or punish those who speak out. One would think that a Police Board with 4 of its 5 members being attorneys would know better.