Racism Complaint Forces Oregon Police Chief’s Retirement; Reporting Officer Receives Death Threats, Retaliation and Cold Shoulder
An Oregon police officer, who brought a racism complaint against his Police Chief forcing him to retire, has received death threats and suffered other retaliatory backlash.
Clatskanie police officer Alex Stone filed a written complaint with the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, alleging that he was present with Sergeant Shaun McQuiddy and canine Officer Zack Gibson on June 25, 2015, when Police Chief Marvin Hoover compared an African American woman to a monkey, "making loud monkey sounds."
"While Chief Hoover was scratching and chanting, he started to move around the room, in a dance or jumping fashion," wrote Stone.
Hoover knelt on one knee while singing "Dixie," claimed Stone. Hoover "began to make a punching motion with his right fist, while making the punching motion, Chief Hoover had his left hand in front of him in a gripping motion, as if he was holding a person by the shirt collar."
Soon after Hoover left the room Stone told Gibson that he was going to file an official complaint. Gibson agreed to join him. Stone told investigators that he asked McQuiddy to jointly file the complaint with them but he declined.
McQuiddy "told me he didn't believe anything would happen to Chief Hoover and that the city would make life hell for us for doing this," Stone told investigators.
When Clatskanie officials learned of the complaint, they placed Hoover on paid administrative leave on August 5, 2015. He was allowed to retire two weeks later. His retirement ended the City's investigation into the matter, but not the retaliation Stone has faced.
Stone claims that he has received death threats by email and that he has been harassed on and off duty. He said he was forced off the road while driving with his wife and has been followed while on duty.
"There was a nail in my tire," he said, "and my neighbor had nails in his driveway yesterday."
As McQuiddy predicted, City officials have ignored Stone's pleas for help. "Not one person will speak to me," he said. “It’s insane."
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