Another Stereotype of the Month entry:
Racist e-mail spurs probes among RCMP, police
Last Updated Tue, 22 Nov 2005 18:28:08 EST
Several police forces across the country are investigating after some officers circulated an e-mail containing a profanity-laced song that refers to native people drinking, sniffing gas and committing crimes.
It contains a song called the Native Rap that includes the lyrics, "The RCMP is always chasing me/'Cause I'm a smelly f***ing native and I can't even see."
It continues to talk about natives robbing liquor stores, punching old ladies, "curb-stomping Whities," slapping women and shaking babies.
The audio file was obtained by CBC News, which tracked it to one officer at Peel Regional Police in Brampton, Ont.
When the CBC told the force about the e-mail, it immediately started a professional standards investigation.
But the e-mail had already been forwarded to nearly two dozen people, including an Ontario government employee, seven Peel police employees and seven RCMP officers.
Eventually, it landed in the in-boxes of several First Nations RCMP officers and one of them complained.
Dean Fontaine, who recently retired from the RCMP after 22 years, said he received a copy of the e-mail at his current workplace, the Assembly of First Nations.
Fontaine, who was a decorated RCMP officer, said most officers were "very dedicated" but he still had to silently endure racist remarks early in his career.
"Unfortunately, there are racist police officers out there and unfortunately, it just takes a handful of these police officers to make everybody look bad."
An RCMP spokesperson, Staff Sgt. Paul Marsh, said the force has been investigating the offensive e-mail since July.
"There's no doubt, though, that the audio clip is reprehensible," Marsh said.
"We're determined to get to the bottom of it, to make sure where did this come from and if it is from within the RCMP, that people be disciplined for those improper actions."
Peel Regional Police also launched an investigation.
The complainant in the case declined to speak to CBC News, concerned about repercussions.
The RCMP says it encourages its employees to come forward with any complaints of racial harassment.
However, a number of RCMP officers told CBC News, on the condition of anonymity, that such complaints often lead to being ostracized by co-workers and can ruin any chance of promotion within the force.
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