U.S. Investigating All-White Law Enforcement Gathering

Article excerpt

Concerned that the credibility of its law enforcement agencies has been undermined, the Treasury Department will conduct its own investigation into an all-white law enforcement gathering featuring racist T-shirts and slogans.

Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin said Monday, "Our purpose is to get to the truth, period." The department will take whatever action is appropriate after the four-month investigation is concluded, he said.

But it was unclear whether any federal agents who may have attended the gathering can be punished if they did so on their own time without using any government resources.

According to news reports, a former agent of Treasury's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms helped coordinate the gathering, known as the "Good Ol' Boys Roundup." Described as a weekend of relaxation for police officers, it was held May 18-20 in Polk County, Tenn.

The weekend was said to include the sale of T-shirts with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s face behind a target, O.J. Simpson in a hangman's noose and white police officers with a black man sprawled across the hood of their car under the words "Boyz on the Hood."

The Senate Judiciary Committee already has plans to look into the incident. And the Justice Department's inspector general will determine whether any employees of the department or its agencies participated in the picnic.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said Monday that he and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus wanted assurances the investigations would be thorough and impartial. …