• Hank Stawinski, a police chief in Maryland, resigned from his post amid evidence of patterns of discrimination
  • NAACP called for chief's resignation
  • The evidence of racism came from a 94-page report from the ACLU of Maryland
  • Lawsuit had been filed by 13 minority officers

Maryland’s Prince George County Police Chief, Hank Stawinski, who is white, resigned from his post effective immediately amid allegations he had patterns of discrimination against Hispanic and African American personnel.

County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks confirmed the resignation Thursday (June 18) and said that her office will hold a press conference on June 19 in the afternoon to update the county on the matter.

NAACP Prince George’s Chapter President Bob Ross called for the removal of Stawinski from his post following the release of a 94-page report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland.

The report stated that the Prince George County Police Department (PGCPD) had at least five instances where its department heads, including Stawinski, failed to act on complaints about racists behavior showed by its civic leaders and white officers.

Maryland's Prince George County Police Department lost its chief after he resigned from his post amid allegations he didn't act on racial discrimination complaints in his department. Wikimedia Commons

Michael Graham, who wrote the report commissioned by the ACLU of Maryland, said there is evidence Stawinski’s department “has persistently and systemically failed to investigate or discipline adequately allegations of discrimination.”

Graham, who used to work as a former assistant sheriff in the Los Angeles County Police Department, also outlined that there have been no officers disciplined or sanctioned for racial profiling, making derogatory comments about Nigerian-Americans, and use of racist language or imagery in text messages despite 24 complaints. Officers of color were also more often involved in internal disciplinary charges or terminated from their jobs.

The report also alleged that 17 white officers did not complete their bias training session when they walked out of the University of Maryland, while one supervisor in Internal Affairs had a personalized license plate bearing the acronym that meant “Go F*** Yourself Obama.”

“Given the pandemic of police terror happening across the nation, the fact that Black and Brown officers also face retaliation by white leadership in a majority Black county for raising concern about police misconduct against community members speaks to how deep and destructive white supremacy is within law enforcement,” Deborah Jeon, ACLU of Maryland’s legal director said.

Graham’s findings are part of a lawsuit filed by 13 minority officers, with the help of the ACLU.

Stawinski started working in law enforcement in 1992 and promoted to his post in 2016. His father was a former sergeant in the same department.