San Antonio Police Chief Asks for a Little Love and Trust from LGBT Community

San Antonio Police Chief Asks for a Little Love and Trust from LGBT Community

May 18, 2009 Discrimination Featured LGBT News 4

Police Chief McManusThe San Antonio Police Department has come under fire lately from Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender activist after police allegedly used derogatory comments against a lesbian couple during a home raid. The women, Lindsey and Carol, had been at home for the evening when police charged through the door advising, “We have a warrant.”  Evidently, a warrant had been issued after an anonymous informant who had been assisting the SAPD for over 2 years claimed that a man named “Randy” had been seen with methamphetamine in the home.

Unfortunately, after the police entered the house, they allegedly made several lewd and derogatory comments about the couple including many references to their sexual orientation.  The outrage from the community was swift and resulted in numerous emails to Police Chief, William McManus, resulting in him contacting the San Antonio Stonewall Democrats to advise them that he wanted to speak to the LGBT community about the situation.

Chief McManus arrived at a crowded restaurant to a round of thunderous applause.  He stood before the room and began by disarming everyone with a history of his involvement with the LGBT Community, including serving as Grand Marshal of the San Antonio Gay Pride Parade in spite of severe criticism.

He then assured the group that, because of this history, he would never turn a “blind eye” to allegations of inappropriate conduct by officers against the gay community adding that, “[if the allegations] happen to be true, there are heavy consequences.”  He further stated:

The leader in a good organization leads by example, and I believe I’ve done that.  My being here tonight is an example of this.

However, the Chief did admit that, although the academy training provides diversity training to new candidates, the officers are not trained to recognize a “slight” to the LGBT community.

Lindsey and Carol’s case is now in the hands of Internal Affairs and the matter is being investigated.  The investigation will not be made public until it has been completed, for which no time frame was provided.  Chief McManus insists that the LGBT community must not assume that something went wrong during the search but should instead, “…let due process run its course.”

In closing, Chief McManus delivered a heartfelt and tender review of his relationship with the LGBT community; however, he was shaken by the way the LGBT community drew such conclusions against him as he, “thought our relationship was better than that. A little love and trust goes a long way on both sides.”

So we are left waiting for answers, but now know that the investigation is ongoing and that these officers’ alleged actions are not going unquestioned.

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4 Responses

  1. Pat Mumme says:

    Progress takes a lot of effort and patience. Great article.

  2. mj says:

    Although one particular man – Chief McManus – is not the only one responsible for what happened that horrible night, he is the representative of the department.

    I’m willing to “show a little love and trust” when it is time and the conditions are appropriate. Another article I read also as a follow up of that night said there were I believe 11 officers total at the scene (the house). This is 11 officers sent with a warrant issued solely on the word of one informant. There was no other confirmation, and there was definitely a lot of abuse of Lindsey and Carol.

    Once “… due process runs its course” I hope that many corrections and many apologies are made. I also hope appropriate training is instituted, not just at the academy, and that the training includes periodic refresher courses.

    thank-you for this follow-up 🙂

  3. Goombah says:

    It’s so frustrating that this is still happening in 2009….

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