Officials with the Broward Police Academy are disputing suspended Wilton Manors Police Chief Richard E. Perez’s contention that racially insensitive e-mails he distributed from his official e-mail account were actually part of course materials for classes he taught at the academy.
Some of the e-mails circulated by Perez had audio recordings attached. One them is titled, “Good Moan’in Mam.”
"Good moan’ in mam. Isn’t it a lovely moan’ in,” greets a man to a white woman in a classic minstrel-style, slapstick tone. The white woman responds, “Up yours N—-r!”
Perez has apologized and has said the e-mails were downloaded and used in the classroom at the police academy, where he moonlighted as an instructor for $32.50 an hour.
“I have many of them that I use in my classes for diversity, for stereotyping, and for teaching new recruits,” Perez said in an interview this week. “Broward College has those curriculums on file that I use.”
“Whether we like to use the N-word or not, police officers hear that quite a bit out there,” Perez said. “I’m deeply apologetic. I’m asking for a second chance.”
College officials dispute Perez’s claim and said there are no plans to bring him back on the teaching staff. The officials said in an interview and in e-mails that they checked the lesson plans Perez submitted and found no evidence of offensive materials being used in the courses he taught.
“Broward College explicitly prohibits and will not tolerate bigotry or prejudice. The college and state has reviewed the curriculum that was approved to be used in the courses, and the college has reviewed internal emails and found no inappropriate usage of these materials or violations of policy,” said Linda Wood, Dean of the Institute of Public Safety.
“Mr. Perez does not have a contract to teach at the college and is not teaching currently. The college has no plans for him to teach these courses again.”
The Institute operates the state-certified Broward Police Academy. Courses are approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. Perez chaired that commission until Gov. Charlie Crist removed him from the post Sept. 23 after South Florida Times broke the story of the controversial e-mails.
Perez is serving a 30-day unpaid suspension as chief for circulating the e-mails among members of his senior command staff and private citizens. Disciplinary action against other employees who engaged in the prohibited practice is likely.
Another e-mail Perez circulated around the department said, “A little boy said to his mother, ‘Mommy, how come I'm black and you're white.’ His mother replied, ‘Don't even go there, Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark!’”
That e-mail is titled “Mom’s Memory” and it includes a photograph of a white woman holding hands with a young boy and walking near a pond, under the caption, “A Mother’s Love.”
It is prefaced with, “Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read it. Hope it touches your heart like it did mine. This is so beautiful.”
Citing his record on diversity he brought to the Wilton Manors police department since assuming the helm four years ago, Perez offered an apology and sought forgiveness.
“I let my citizens down in my city and that’s why I wanted to apologize,” Perez said. “And I hope they will give me a second chance and let me apologize for inappropriately using the city’s computer system, which I really should know better.”
An e-mail that was forwarded to Perez from the account of Sgt. Peter Bigelsen is titled, “Stupid Is, As Stupid Does.”
It shows a picture of the President and First Lady Michele Obama with their hands on their hearts, apparently during a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
“Just A Gentle Reminder. I fully believe they both know exactly what they are doing!!! Stupid is, as Stupid Does…Unbelievable. As any American knows, we place our right hand over our heart when we recite the Pledge of Allegiance,” reads that
“And for anyone who thinks this may be a mirror-image picture, please note the wedding rings on the ring fingers of their LEFT HANDS and the RIGHT side of the Messiah’s suit coat where the buttons are. These two morons are so clueless, they can't possibly be Americans!”
Dozens of other e-mails, some including racial slurs, a photo of nude woman and other distasteful comments directed towards the President and members of the Democratic Party have been circulated through the department by Perez.
“I have several of those. I use them and historically, I teach at Broward College. I teach stereotyping, I teach ethics, I teach diversity. I have many of those clips and forward them back to my friend who downloads them. That’s not an excuse. I should not have done this stuff on a city computer,” Perez said.
Perez said he did not intend to offend anyone and characterized the e-mails as instructional materials and political satire.
Pictured Above: Chief Richard E. Perez