Photo: FLLewis/A Writer’s Groove — Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters
A controversial lawsuit filed by a Burbank police Lieutenant and four officers last Thursday is the talk of the town. In fact, the story is still getting a lot of exposure across the Internet and in the media. Today, the lead lawyer, whose firm filed the lawsuit, reiterated the allegations of widespread discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other misconduct in the Burbank PD at a news conference.
Attorney Solomon E. Gresen accused the Burbank PD of giving preferential treatment to white males and utilizing flawed hiring practices, “…. all minority officers must be quote, unquote white enough to be hired.” On KNX 1070 newsradio today, Burbank City Attorney, Dennis Barlow, responded to the suit by saying in an interview: “… we don’t like to try our cases in the press. We like to try them in the courtroom.”
Well, Attorney Barlow may be looking forward to taking this case to trial, but that’s not what some Burbank residents want to hear. If the allegations are true, some feel the city should settle now, rather than go through a long drawn out trial. No doubt a settlement will be expensive now, but a court decision that favors the defendants could be even more so later. Also, the way I see it, when you weigh the damage to the image of city, the morale of the Burbank PD, and public confidence, a quick settlement makes better sense than a lengthy court battle.
The lawsuit was filed by Burbank Lieutenant Omar Rodriguez, police officers Jamal Childs, Elfego Rodriguez, Steve Karagiosian, and Cindy Guillen-Gomez.
Doesn’t a quick settlement mean that they would just cover up everything that is happening and then keep doing the same things ? This should be looked into by a jury because I don’t trust officials to fix any of this they are the problem.
You have some good points. Nevertheless, the way I see it, if taxpayers demand change, there will be change in the Burbank Police department. You’d better believe that if millions of tax dollars are paid out to settle a discrimination lawsuit, residents are going to be screaming for change and a fix for the problems in the Burbank PD.
Well taxpayers are not listened to by the politicians so the question is just how do taxpayers demand change ? What I mean is if we say change this or change that they will look, laugh and do what they want right ? You are talking about people who not only don’t listen they really don’t care. That’s how I see it anyway.
If the outcry is loud enough, politicians have to listen. The Burbank city council frequently responds to issues from the public that are brought to the council’s attention, either at a council meeting, in letters or e-mail. The council has made decisions or changes as a result of hearing from the public.
In this situation, which involves investigations and at least one lawsuit, city officials will have to come up with some answers for some very tough questions. Also, the pressure will be on them to make changes.