Berkeley Police Department in turmoil over leaked texts about arrest quotas
Police Chief Ray Martine has been in hot water for weeks over a police department-wide email about police arrests, which police are alleged to have leaked to the media. One officer in particular, Lt. Andrew Johnson, has been in the news, too, after his comments to the San Francisco Bay Times about his frustration at Berkeley’s racial quota system. On November 8, Johnson sent an email to the chief and seven other Berkeley officers, expressing his frustration at the lack of diversity on campus. He warned, “It’s time for all officers to have a racial and gender quota in place.”
“It’s time for all officers to have a racial and gender quota in place”: “The problem with the system we have now has to be our focus,” said a police officer in an email to his colleagues.
Martine responded to Johnson’s email on November 15, writing to Johnson: “I appreciate your perspective on this issue. I will be looking into your input in the coming days.” Johnson responded the next day with his own email, which was later leaked to the public (PDF). In it, he referred to the police quotas as “shameful and discriminatory, and I am not going to participate in that.” Johnson followed up the next day by sending another email to the Berkeley Police Department, accusing them of using “the tactics of racism” and describing himself as “one of the most privileged white men in America.” In the email to the Police Department, Johnson referred to the “racists” and “privileged [people]” in order to “make sure the word got out that I am ‘not playing’.”
Martine responded with his own email on November 22 to Johnson, again apologizing for his email and acknowledging that he had “no tolerance for racism.” But he wrote that he would be monitoring what Johnson had done.
Johnson has remained quiet since the initial leaked email to the public, but in a public address on November 30, he claimed that the Police Department’s chief had “rejected”