Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer is Under Fire

February 27, 2009 8:01:04 PM PST
A new complaint has been filed against Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer ... Claiming he's threatening to retaliate against officers who have filed suit against the department.Captain Al Maroney believes remarks the chief made during an executive staff meeting Monday were inappropriate. He says the chief made the remarks in retaliation for a lawsuit filed by three other African American police employees.

During a meeting of top staff at the Fresno Police Department Chief Jerry Dyer is alleged to have told his staff a recent lawsuit filed by two African American officers and a cadet is quote "ludicrous."

At least one captain present felt what he said next was unnecessary. The complaint filed Thursday claims the chief said "he has a lawyer and a lot of equity in his home and will sue those officers for defamation."

Rayma Church is representing the three employees who are suing the police department for discrimination and retaliation.

Attorney Rayma Church said, "I think it was highly inappropriate for the chief of police in an official capacity to say what he did about these officers and to threaten to go after them because they were pursuing what they believe were their civil rights."

The complaint filed Thursday by Maroney claims Dyer said "His carotid may have been nicked and a lot of people smell blood in the water but it would take a lot for him to bleed out." he said he "would rather die in a gunfight than to give up."

Dyer did not return calls for comment. Sources close to the meeting confirm Dyer did make those comments during his weekly briefing. Earlier this month two police officers and a cadet filed a lawsuit claiming they were victims of discrimination on numerous occasions.

"Each one of them reached out to superiors and sought correction and each one of them was rebuffed and their complaints were not investigated," said Church.

The EEOC has responded to Maroney's complaint acknowledging they have received it and will be looking into his claims.

Minutes ago a police department spokesperson called to say the city attorney has advised the chief to not comment citing this as a personnel matter.

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