Police chief resigns amid accusations of racial bias

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP) — A police chief in a Maryland county near the nation’s capital resigned Thursday amid reports alleging racial bias and discrimination toward officers of color.

Prince George’s County police Chief Hank Stawinski steps down after leading the department since 2016, news outlets reported. County Executive Angela Alsobrooks made the announcement and said she accepted his resignation effective immediately.

Stawinski’s resignation comes as the local chapter of the NAACP had planned to hold a vote of no-confidence Thursday evening against Stawinski’s leadership.

The resignation also comes after the American Civil Liberties Union detailed what it called discriminatory practices and retaliation by the department in a 94-page report filed Thursday.

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Thirteen black and Hispanic officers of the Prince George’s Police Department had asked the ACLU to file a lawsuit on their behalf in 2018.

The officers said white officers would make racist remarks or use racial slurs but wouldn’t be punished, while minority officers who reported the incidents would be punished, according to the ACLU.

Alsobrooks planned to hold a news conference Friday afternoon to discuss Stawinski’s resignation. Her spokesman declined to comment before then.

Stawinski didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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