Block Botch

Neighborhood group prints a cop's racist comment, then the city clams up

Director Richard, who is the officer's superior, refuses to name the person who made the comment. "I don't see the need at this time to bring any more discredit on them," Richard says.

Richard says he "counseled" the officer and made certain that the comment was a mistake. The cop meant to say that in Mexico, some people celebrate by firing guns into the air, and some people in Mendoza's neighborhood don't know that's illegal here, Richard says.

"The officer never said anything about the Mexican culture," Richard insists. "[The comment] was just too inclusive."

Although Mayor Rimsza had a representative at the meeting with Mendoza, he refuses to comment on the dispute.

Richard's "counseling" and a memo in the officer's file will be the extent of the department's discipline.

Mendoza doesn't think that's enough. "I think the officer should be disciplined in a way that shows the city has standards," he says. "This can't go on in the police department in the sixth-largest city in the nation. It just can't."

Contact Chris Farnsworth at 229-8430 or online at

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