The leader of the Bergen County chapter of the NAACP said he was “appalled” upon hearing an accusation that a police chief said, “Black officers are lazy, do not work hard and fail to take actions that better their situation.”
Englewood Police Chief Lawrence Suffern was accused of making that comment in a 2015 lawsuit against his department, which has since been settled.
The suit, filed by Lt. Herman Savage in Superior Court in Bergen County, accused Suffern of making the comment during the hiring process for two new captains at the department. Savage’s suit said he was passed over for captain despite scoring higher on an exam than a white cop who was promoted.
“To say Blacks are lazy can also lead to the notion that all Blacks are criminals and/or suspicious, which can affect the relationship between law enforcement and the community,” Bergen County NAACP President Anthony Cureton, a former Englewood detective, wrote in the statement. He demanded that the city and Suffern apologize.
Suffern did not respond to a request for comment, but he told the Northern Valley Press that he denied the allegations in the lawsuit.
The suit was settled for $380,000, according to northjersey.com.
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