It is not uncommon for people who have worked together to fall out over job related issues. This has been the case over the past few weeks after Gary Delagnes, a former head of the Police Officers Association came out claiming that the union has been using its power to prevent police chiefs from making effective transformations in the law enforcement division. Delagnes was making his submission before an inquiry team set up by San Francisco’s District Attorney, George Gascon.
The Turn of Events
In what has caught all and sundry by surprise, Delagnes alleges that Gascon himself has uttered xenophobic, racist and homophobic slurs in the past. He cited an incident that happened back in 2010 during a dinner attended by the two together with the current president of the union, Martin Halloran. This was in Cambridge, Massachusetts after a seminar attended by leaders of police unions.
In his sworn affidavit, Delagnes claims that Gascon who was the police chief at that time was on a drinking spree and got inebriated. In the process, he began recounting his years of service in the Los Angeles law enforcement department. As he reminisced on his policing career, he uttered racial slurs, which targeted minorities. His state of drunkenness saw him talk loudly, causing discomfort among members of an African-American family seated on the next table. The head of the family had to even ask him to refrain from whatever he was saying.
Whereas the claimant’s allegations have been backed as a true account of what transpired by Halloran, he fails to specifically state what happened during that fateful dinner. The office of the District Attorney has however distanced itself from the affidavit with its spokesman terming them baseless and malicious.
Friends Turned Foes
Delagnes and Gascon were both dedicated members of the force and each served for over 25 years. At the peak of their careers, the former headed the POA for nine years while Gascon was the police chief. They regularly had meals together to come up with strategies about improving efficiency in the force. Any disciplinary issues also used to be discussed. How they began maligning each other openly still remains a mystery.
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