Over the course of several months in 2011, eight police officers for the city of Vinita Park were fired, resigned or took jobs with other departments. This was an unprecedented amount of turnover in the small north-county town. More than half the department, including the chief, was suddenly gone.
VinitaPark.org Mayor James McGee.
According to a lawsuit filed by five of those officers, Vinita Park city officials terminated or forced the officers out because they are white. African American officers kept their jobs, and the majority of the replacement hires were black also.
The allegation might sound far-fetched, but attorneys for the officers believe they have a smoking gun -- a secretly recorded conversation of Vinita Park mayor James McGee, the subject of this week's cover story. On the tape, McGee speaks in blunt terms about racial tension in the city and his role in the termination of the white police officers.More »