Durham NC Chief Ousted Over Crime, Morale, Racial Profiling Issues


Durham, N.C., Police Chief Jose Lopez, who was ousted this week, contends that he was not criticized by the city’s “real people,” the Raleigh News & Observer reports. City Manager Tom Bonfield forced Lopez, 61, to retire. Bonfield said he was concerned about rising crime, poor police-community relations and low employee morale. Lopez conceded yesterday that there was a pay issue but contended that most officers have high morale, especially considering the challenges that police face today.

Complaints of profiling and other racist behavior by police prompted Mayor Bill Bell in 2013 to direct the city's Human Relations Commission to investigate. After months of hearings, the commission concluded in March that racial bias and profiling existed within the department. Lopez said racial bias and profiling are not part of his department and pointed to his Hispanic heritage and a diverse police force.

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