Neighbors are speaking up about
ex-police Chief Ron Schleuter’s memos, one NBC 10 obtained about “unwanted
black males” seen around a
Here’s the memo written by Schleuter:
“Residents of McKeen Plaza Retirement Community located at 1500 McKeen are asking for extra patrol due to groups of unwanted black males wandering through the complex and walking the sidewalks in front of the residences being loud, unruly and generally causing a disturbance to the elderly residents living there. They stated that this is taking place after 5:00 p.m. after the manager has left the premises. These groups of young black males are walking on the property which is private property with no shirts, their pants down around their knees, showing their underwear, holding their “goobers” and being loud and disrespectful. Residents in the complex are elderly and are fearful of getting out in the evenings to walk about the complex.
Please patrol this area and when possible park and walk through the complex and visit with the residents making them aware of your presence.”
Chief Herbert Otwell, who formerly served as Schleuter’s assistant chief, says he personally wouldn’t have used the same language as Schleuter did, but defends the memo’s language as the way the complainants described the groups of people in question.
“This was written as a result of a complaint and that’s how it was called in,” he said. “I don’t think it’s profiling. If you’re given a suspect, and he’s a black male. That’s what you’re looking for. If he’s a white male, you don’t look for a black male.”
Some residents who read the memo disagreed with Otwell.
Shonica Kately said, “I disagree with the part about just blacks. It’s an equal thing with both races. It’s not just black men with pants sagging. White guys do the same thing too.”
“He didn’t have to say all that. That wasn’t called for. It’s a racial remark,” said Raquon Alexander.
But others understood the purpose of Schleuter’s memos, and say the ex-chief was just trying to look after the well-being of senior citizens.
Dwayne Robinson said, “I felt like (disrespect for the elderly) shouldn’t be tolerated at all. Everyone has grandparents, great grandparents, and it shouldn’t be tolerated. It’s nonsense. Zero tolerance when it comes to our elderly.”
Vernon White said, “I think that black people will take it in some of the wrong ways. They think it refers to all blacks, but it doesn’t. It refers to the uncivilized people walking around. There are some walking around with their pants down. But all black people don’t do that.”