Durham, NC, Police Chief Jose L. Lopez isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.
He stands accused of stating that a public defender who had been shot deserved it for defending criminals… which has to happen if our criminal justice system is to function at all, as imperfect as it is. He also stands accused of being biased towards black officers.
City authorities are investigating allegations that Police Chief Jose L. Lopez said an attorney wounded in a shooting “deserved” being shot, and that the Police Department gave preferential treatment to a Lopez relative who applied for a job on the force.
Lopez is also the subject of a civil-rights discrimination complaint filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by Assistant Chief Winslow Forbes.
“Right now, they’re allegations,” Mayor Bill Bell said Tuesday. “We just have to find out whether there is substance.”
Durham police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said Lopez could not comment on the allegations “due to the ongoing review.”
EEOC spokesman Joseph Olivares said federal law does not allow the commission to comment on discrimination filings unless the EEOC files a lawsuit, “which is typically our last resort.”
City Manager Tom Bonfield said he would be meeting with the city’s internal audit staff and city attorneys Tuesday but did not plan to issue a statement.
The EEOC complaint “is on a whole separate track,” he said, but it included claims that Lopez had made racially offensive comments about some police personnel and had said the unidentified attorney, a bystander hit by a stray bullet, deserved to get shot because he was a public defender.
Maybe Durham Police Chief Jose L. Lopez is angling for an assistant chief’s job with Chicago’s trigger happy top cop, Garry McCarthy, who warns that his poorly-trained officers will shoot concealed carriers.
Who vets these guys before they are hired?