American police chief responded to racism complaint 'by comparing black people to monkeys'

Chief Marvin Hoover is accused of making monkey gestures and singing racist songs by two of his officers

Caroline Mortimer
Monday 07 September 2015 15:29 BST
Mavin Hoover was put on administrative leave last month over the incident
Mavin Hoover was put on administrative leave last month over the incident (KOIN6/YouTube)

An American police chief is under fire after he was alleged to have made offensive remarks comparing black people to monkeys.

Marvin Hoover, 56, was placed on administrative leave by the Clatskanie Police Department in Oregon at the beginning of August but they did not reveal what he was accused of saying at the time, local news station, KOIN6 reports.

In an official report filed to the Oregon Department of Public Safety, published by KOIN6, two police officers have claimed they saw Chief Hoover make monkey sounds while dancing around the room with his hands under his armpits.

The incident is alleged to have happened in June when Chief Hoover, who has been in charge of the local police force since 2002, was told a recently arrested woman had said she would file a lawsuit against the department for racism and discrimination.

In the documents, Officer Dustin Stone said: “As Chief Hoover was comparing African-Americans to monkeys, I began to become extremely uncomfortable.

“I have never been in a work environment where a manager, especially an executive officer, is openly racist.

Officer Stone said he relayed the arrestee’s remarks such as “When you look at me, my black skin and my nappy hair, all you see is an animal” and said Chief Hoover responded by saying “That’s what she is.”

The other complainant, Officer Zack Gibson, also alleged Chief Hoover "sang a Dixie song" (a traditional song from the American South) about cotton plantations.

Policemen and women have come under increased public scrutiny in the past year after the town of Ferguson in Missouri erupted into days of violent clashes between law enforcement and protesters over the death of black teenager, Michael Brown.

In June, a Texan police officer was forced to resign after he was videoed pulling a bikini clad 14-year-old black girl to the ground and kneeling on her back at a pool party.

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