Lieutenants accuse Cobb Police chief of racism
by MDJ staff
June 03, 2013 11:43 PM | 6867 views | 48 48 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
James Brown
James Brown
slideshow
Craig Owens
Craig Owens
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MARIETTA — Cobb Police Chief John Houser is the subject of a federal lawsuit that claims he promoted white officers over black ones, Channel 2 reported Monday evening.

Cobb police lieutenants James Brown and Craig Owens allege that Houser and his department repeatedly promoted white officers to the position of captain, instead of them, according to the Channel 2 report.

County spokesman Robert Quigley said Brown has worked for the county since 1988 while Owens came to work for the county in 1989.

“We have not been served with the lawsuit, and it is our practice to not comment on pending litigation,” Quigley told the MDJ Monday.

Brown and Owens are seeking a permanent injunction, prohibiting the police department from engaging in unlawful employment practices in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

They are also requesting a judge to promote them, Channel 2 reports.

Cobb Board of Commissioners Chairman Tim Lee told the MDJ he was unfamiliar with the lawsuit.

“It’s my intent that we run a county that’s free of any kind of racial profiling or preference one way or the other, and obviously this is something that needs to be looked into because any accusation needs to be looked at, but that’s nothing we promote,” Lee said. “It’s not what we tolerate, and we’ll have to wait and see what comes out.”
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Pam J
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June 11, 2013
These two guys have two problems: one, if they "win" and get promoted, are the other police officers going to treat them decently? Two, if they choose to go somewhere else, will they be considered "troublemakers" and not a good choice for employment? While I respect their belief that they were discriminated against, it's a slippery slope upon which they choose to climb.
MAY-RETTA SURVIVOR
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June 06, 2013
Had Lincoln only known...
Why because
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June 06, 2013
It could be you next time. Everyone no matter the color of their skin wants to be treated fairly. If their records show that they have not performed to the level of being Captain then so be it, until then let the system work and the truth will prevail as always.
Truth?!?!
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June 06, 2013
@ Truth.

You want your proof? What about Captain D. Gallmon. He was a black male on command staff, had an unfortunate incident and retired. What about Major Paula Sparks(retired). Major R. Sampson is still working and on command staff.

How about we look at qualifications and discipline record rather than being handed a promotion based on the color of your skin. Oh wait...maybe they did that in this case. There will always be differing opinions.

Wrecking a county car while not authorized to be out of county with an unauthorized female passenger is a possible game changer.

Getting arrested in another county because you were drunk and in a bar fight but then released because you were screaming but I am a cop could be a possible game changer. There are more....

Should that be what the chief and command staff wants to represent this county?

Time alone does not qualify you for anything. Simply meeting the required criteria plus the color of your skin does not and should not equal entitlement. The best candidate should be promoted regardless of skin color. Will this ever be a non issue? What about character, performance, and the way you represent your department.

Kudos to the newest Lieutenant. Yours was earned by your performance and reputation sir, not your skin color.
Forgot about this?
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June 08, 2013
It sounds like you are an insider except you don't mention the antics of the white officers. I won't call their names but, do you know what the current chief did? How about one of the deputy chiefs (not the new one) and the one who just retired. What about the officer who was dui in a county vehicle on two occasions and still there, or the two who had time card issues and are still there (one is high ranking). How about the Lt. who was in a hit and run, was rude to a fellow officer and was allowed to work for several months before being fired or was he? How about the officer who left the department while under investigation, returned and later became deputy chief? I'll stop here for now. There are so many more stories this comment can't hold it all. I won't even begin to mention the "Parties". Now where does "character, performance and the way you represent your department" fit now?
notshokd
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June 06, 2013
Maybe someone should look into their disciplinary files and ask why the NAACP hasn't shown up yet? Maybe it is because the NAACP has reviewed their argument and deemed it has no merit.It appears to me that the NAACP has judged them on the content of their character not the color of their skin and decided this is a wasted effort.
Poor officers
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June 05, 2013
These 2 have no business complaining they are lucky to have jobs. The only reason that Brown has been promoted and given differnt assignments is because he cried to County Mgr hankerson and became hankerson's poster child for affirmitive action. Hankerson has made the dept promote Brown even though he was not as qualified. A check of both these bozo's records will reveal the truth: they weren't promoted because they are problem officer who play the victim card.
anonymous
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June 05, 2013
The rank of captain is not based on senority. If it was then you would have a lot of retards running the department. There are plenty of minority supervisors at the police department and it's only a matter of time before the bright minority supervisors are ready to make captain and then you will see there is no racist. If anyone knows these two then you would know they are not the brightest candles.... hence they are not being promoted.
You must be command
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June 08, 2013
If officers could share their opinions without fear of retaliation, they would totally disagree with your second statement.
GReat job
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June 05, 2013
Ther have been several black Captains. One is now a Major in charge of the Special Operations Division. Another black captain left the force after wrecking his county car while drinking.

Just because you are senior to others that does not mean you are more capable. It might mean you have been promoted to your level of competence.

That's THE TRUTH.
GReat job
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June 05, 2013
One was promoted to Lt. over several VERY senior Sgts, who had more experience, training, and education. Wonder why?

The Truth
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June 05, 2013
Looks like most of the ones who replied to this post was one of the "Good Ole Boys". Sound fishy to me. Cobb County is covering up something since their has never been a black Capt.
can't take it.
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June 05, 2013
You need to get your facts straight... there have been black captains. The last has since left the agency due to some personal issues.
Actually
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June 05, 2013
There has been an African American Captain...however, he got himself in some trouble and resigned before he could be fired.
Suborinate one
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June 05, 2013
Please have your facts straight Captain David Gallmon African American Cobb County Police. Terminated DUI in Cobb County Police Car by GSP after car accident. as reported by the MDJ
anonymous
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June 05, 2013
There is currently a black MAJOR
Really Wrong
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June 05, 2013
Thats because he is a major...
non sequuter
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June 05, 2013
There is a black major (rank above captain) and there was a black captain who no longer works for the department for reasons other then retirement.
The Real Truth
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June 05, 2013
Oh there has been a black captain but he resigned. That's an interesting story if MDJ wanted to investigate.
joke
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June 04, 2013
These two are a joke and really should never have been promoted to the rank of lieutenant. They are right, promotions should not be made on race, but on who can do the best job. These two are not the best people for the job and promoting them would not have been serving the community's best interest.

Not True
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June 05, 2013
Both are highly and more qualified and were not promoted. This has occurred to both these and other black officers over the years. If you talk to other white officers, they will tell you that they may not like either officer but they are more qualified than those Captains above them, and there are other white officers who are more qualified that have been slighted as well. The good ol boy system has an adverse impact on officers of all colors that are not in the click, but a disparate impact on minorities.
Good ol' boys
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June 04, 2013
Every department seems to have its list of those in the "Good ol' Boy Club". Unfortunately, many officers aren't in this "club" (minorities to include other races, females, etc). Many have just learned to accept it. There are many descrepencies within every agency. Someone explain how an officer can go from Lt. to Capt. to Major to Dep. Chief within a matter of 4 years! He hasn't even had time to get his feet wet. Hopefully, all those who have quit because of being in a similar boat who were highly qualified (I can think of a female major who should have been promoted), will stand up and say something so this will not keep happening to those who have proven that they are well qualiefied. I also hope this sheds light on those supervisors who should never have been promoted and only were because of being a member of "the club".
non sequuter
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June 05, 2013
Don't forget about others who have been disciplined over and over again, fired, rehired and yet still have rank.

What about the recent promoting of an African American Sgt to Lt even though there were Sgts with several more years as police officers and several more years as a Sgt? should we look at that as well?
I'm tired of morons
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June 04, 2013
You know, morons that snap judge a situation without knowing a single thing about the circumstances. The same morons that overuse question marks and misuse "their" for "there" -- twice.
MAY-RETTA SURVIVOR
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June 04, 2013
This dated, stupid, name-calling "racist" ploy has far outlived it's usefulness.

I think that these 2 "officers" are simply trying to get their own way via embarrassing their boss (via a public shakedown)....something my child stopped doing by the age of 8.

I would suggest these officers consider EARNING their promotions...rather than expecting everything be handed to them on a Silver Platter!
EARNING?
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June 05, 2013
Was it earned when a Sergeant was promoted from Sgt. to major without testing? Was it earned when a Sgt. Rose from Sgt. to Lt to Deputy Chief to Deputy Director in less than 3 years? Was it earned when a Lt. rose from Lt. to Major in less than 2 years? Was it earned when an officer rose from officer to Captain in about 6 years? None of those officers were women or minorities. Discrimination? Maybe. Good ol’ boy system? No doubt. There are more examples that apply to rank and transfers, but they don’t bear mentioning. And yes there were minorities, qualified during all the above promotions, if given the same opportunity as those above.
Mr teacher
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June 08, 2013
Learn the use of apostrophes and possession before giving English lessons to others.

It sounds like you need to get some parenting lessons if it took you that long to stop a child from embarrassing you in public. Now, please stop throwing rocks.
Cobb86
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June 04, 2013
The article says that they want the judge to promote them.. seriously? What does that alone tell you? What is in their background files????
Timus
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June 04, 2013
Hmmm. I guess one way to show that the claims are invalid would be to give an example of the minority officers who have been promoted to captain.........(eerie silence.....) I actually hope that they can show otherwise. I'd really like living in Cobb. I'd hate to think we are living up to our reputation over here!
non sequuter
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June 05, 2013
The silence is your lack of research skills. There was a black captain that is no longer employed (he didn't retire) and there is a black major.

That silence must be deafening now huh?
Breakdown
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June 05, 2013
The fact is they have a black major, had a female major until she retired, have an oriental captain. I'm not saying that the "good ol boy" system is not in play, but that's in every business. The rank of captain is a command staff position and you have to have some good politics to get to that level at any police department. The worst thing to do is promote just because of race and Cobb doesn't need to do that. If you're a minority and deserve the promotion then you should get it. I'm proud to live in a county that tries to promote based on merit. These guys need to step up their game instead of downing a great police department and a great county!
Expect The Best
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June 05, 2013
David Gallmon was an African American Captain with Cobb County. Unfortunately he is no longer with the department since he was arrested for DUI while driving his county issued take home vehicle.
Are you serious?!!!!
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June 04, 2013
Why doesn't Cobb County Police just promote everyone regardless of qualifications and base it on ethnicity. What is the real issue here? Sounds like they're the ones creating racial profiling.
Pot & Kettle Dept.
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June 04, 2013
Karma anyone?
Commons Sense
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June 04, 2013
The wonderful race card...I thought America got past the race issue since Mr. Obama became president. Yet, race issues continue to get worse. Ever wonder that someone might be better than you regardless of race? The race card is an excuse. It is time to start taking people to court who accuse people of racism and sue them for reverse discrimination.
ME PC? NOT!
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June 05, 2013
Hello! Obama GOT elected because he chose to play the "race" card..and he's been doing it ever since!
TheGospel
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June 05, 2013
There are dumb people born every day! We are starting to live in the land of the 'stupid' instead of the 'free. You are actually stupid enough to believe that race is not an issue just because there has been (1) one black, oops, (1/2) half black president... Wake up!
tired of it
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June 04, 2013
Did you two ever stop to think maybe you aren't qualified to be a captain??????? Maybe their are officers that are better officers than you two are? The officers that have been promoted before you have they been their longer????????
MAY-RETTA SURVIVOR
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June 04, 2013
While I may agree with everything you say however, if you want your comments to be taken seriously, you must learn the difference (in meaning) between: T-H-E-I-R & T-H-E-R-E and when to properly use them!
worth looking into
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June 04, 2013
Actually, no, these officers have been with the department for more than 20 years. They have been training new recruits that end up getting promoted before they themselves do.

There is only one non-white captain on the entire Cobb police force.

I think it's worth looking into.
non sequitur
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June 04, 2013
This is officially the end of Cobb Police as we know it. This is how it started in APD when race was used for promotion instead of qualifications. I live in Cobb and They have a disproportionate amount of black supervisors compared to white supervisors below the rank of captain but these two want to play the race card to get promoted. They have lost the respect of the majority of the department by now.
Tired of denial
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June 04, 2013
Have you looked at Cobb history, we are tired of it too. Lets look before we make a judgement tired because for all you know it is true buddy.
you have no idea
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June 04, 2013
One is a senior Lieutenant to every Capt in all five precincts, in other words he made Lieutenant before every current precinct Capt. and both are senior to every Capt in every precinct except one. Try again.
Insider@CCPD
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June 05, 2013
First of all the word is 'there'. I'm not an officer and work for CCPD. The 'good ole boys network' is alive and functioning quite nicely for CCPD. 'Pucker-up' and fall in line or get left behind. There are way to many wrong-doings within the CCPD. High level officials look the other way for favoritism, nepotism and fraternization as long as you are part of the 'in' crowd. Please do not act like this is new news.
non sequuter
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June 05, 2013
To you have no idea;

so we should promote based solely on seniority? Then there were several guys who should have been promoted to lt over the most recent choice. guys with years more with the county as well as time in grade.

There are lt's with more time then both of these 2. Should we use seniority to promote them first?

anonymous
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June 05, 2013
They are senior to other captains because the prior chiefs were cowards that promoted them out of fear not because they were qualified. Funny that they did not complain when they were being promoted over more qualified white officers.
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