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Lawsuit: Pa. Trooper Fired for Writing Reports In Ebonics

December 06, 2012  | 

A black Pennsylvania trooper claims he was fired for not writing proper reports and sometimes used Ebonics in the reports.

In the lawsuit, William Peake, 29, claims he faced discrimination from his mostly white fellow troopers after he was stationed at the Uniontown barracks. He graduated from the police academy in May 2009.

Peake was required to sign a termination letter contending he was let go for a "lack of solid job knowledge and basic police skills" and other "officer/public safety concerns" not spelled out in that letter in November 2010, reports the Associated Press.

Comments (12)

Displaying 1 - 12 of 12

RICHARD ISAACS @ 12/6/2012 4:44 PM

in los angeles in the eighties a black congress woman tried to get ebonics taught and accepted in it's public schools. i believe her last name walters and she still looks out for the rsidence of so los angeles.

michael @ 12/6/2012 4:56 PM

What a bunch of crap, it took PSP almost 18 months to figure out that this trooper was not cutting it in their eyes. BS, it is also nice to see the "POA" supporting their fellow trooper. I find it hard to believe that the trooper was using "Ebonics" in his reports for this period of time, especially in his report writing classes in the academy and it was not addressed until now?

Bob @ VA @ 12/7/2012 4:57 AM

What did anyone expect? That Peake would acquiesce to his documented incompetence? Did anyone bother to read the attorney's excuse? "...[Peake] was stationed at the Uniontown barracks, which his attorney contends employs nearly all white troopers." Oh, the horror - PA apparently has a color-blind assignment policy! Oh, the humanity!

This is the other end of affirmative action - spurious law suits anytime an AA hiree can't cut the mustard. Law enforcement should not be a social laboratory. Only the most competent should be issued badges and guns. The public deserves to know that they can trust the men and women with badges regardless of race, creed, or breakfast cereal choices, rather than wondering if they are about to be victimized by a social experiment. No one is entitled to anything in this life other than a fair shot to compete - equal opportunity, not equal outcome. Performance and merit must rule the day. Peake obviously couldn't hack it and should take it like a man.

Bill Connell @ 12/7/2012 6:13 AM

In law enforcement we are all judged off the actions of a few. It doesn’t matter if it is speeding, or other unprofessional behavior. To me, failing to properly document something you investigate is not just sloppy and unprofessional, but what about the incident itself, the people involved, at the outcome of the case. It isn’t and never should be about the background of the officer or his or her race, but their desire to do a good job.

Capt David-retired LA Cou @ 12/7/2012 9:01 AM

That is what you get when a high school diploma is the level of education to get hired.

Dave Robbins @ 12/7/2012 9:13 AM

Capt David... your comment does a disservice to so many who came before without anything other than their high school diploma, yet served with honor, distinction and capability. And frankly, a good portion of today's college graduates who are working as police officers do not display any particular or exceptional increased knowledge base or intelligence.

Capt. Crunch @ 12/7/2012 12:13 PM

I agree with Bill Connell, police reports are just as important as making a arrest and testifying in court. I would not want the defense attorney to tear my case apart on my on writings. Officer Peake,went through the police academy and FTO training, he should know how to write a police report by now. It appears that Officer Peake, is a angery person and hie anger interfers with his job performance.

Jason Barnes @ 12/7/2012 5:11 PM

Discriminatory hiring aka "affirmative action" shows its sordid face yet again, in the hiring and retention of an illiterate clown. And note the ridiculous length of time it took to kick him out, AFTER it was obvious that he was illiterate and incompetent. The article doesn't mention the likely fact that his idiotic "writing" had to be used as exhibits in court cases, which would have made both him and the idiots who hired him, look like the fools they are.

Doreen @ 12/8/2012 10:34 AM

Capt David: PA State Police require at least an Associates Degree so make sure you do your homework before you assume what the education requirements are. ~Proud Wife of retired PA State Trooper~

Dan @ 12/8/2012 5:40 PM

I did not read the article, I only read the comments and what was addressed above. Does a college graduate make for a better street cop? I do not think so. Life experience makes a good street cop. College education can make a good street cop a better supervisor, (Sgt.) or a better politician (Lt., Capt.) More and more, LE agencies are requiring degrees for promotion, and soon it will be a requirement to get hired, but I am not sure you will get the best officer just because he has a AA or BA in Political Science, or Criminal Justice, without having and exposure to the real worled he/she is being hired to serve and protect.

A Police report should be clear, concise, and address who, what, when, where, and if possible, how and why. But, a police report is NOT evidence, it is used as a way to remember specific details about a crime that occurred months, sometimes years ago. Your TESTIMONY is evidence. However, if the DA does not feel your report has enough information for him to make a determination for filing of charges, then you have wasted everyone's time. If a quality, clear and accurate report cannot be submitted to the DA office, then the officer who wrote it should think again about his career choices and his ability to perform the required duties.

Bman @ 12/13/2012 8:47 AM

Captain David, you sound like the hind end of a horse. I have good friends who still make fun of themselves because they cant correct the ebonics in their reports and they have bachelors degrees, been to advanced report writing classes, been a cop for years. I am not surprised by this. His ebonics must have been bad and he should have been let off of FTO if he could not correct something as simple as ebonics. Its because people are afraid to mention something related to race or culture so they let it slide such as my friends with college degrees. No one has ever made them stop using ebonics so they continue to. The only reason they make fun of themselves is because the reports get sent back to them. Bob you made a really good comment.

Bob @ 12/16/2012 7:02 AM

How did this clown graduate from the academy? He should have been washed out before he became a trooper. He should not have been able to pass the test to get in to the academy in the first place.

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