Atlanta police chief recorded saying she didn’t want to hire minority female officers because of their ‘attitude’

Francis Akhalbey June 06, 2024
Chief Beverly Banks was recorded saying she didn't want to hire Black or Hispanic female officers because of their attitude -- Photo Credit: PxHere

Beverly Banks, the Atlanta VA Medical Center police chief serving a suspension for “unacceptable behavior”, was allegedly heard in a recording saying that she didn’t want to hire Black or Hispanic female officers because they “come with a whole lot of attitude.”

Per FOX 5 Atlanta, Banks, who is Black, is said to have made those comments during a command staff meeting on September 13, 2023. Over twelve people attended that meeting, and the audio recordings in question were obtained by the FOX 5 I-Team.

“I am to the point… I don’t want to hire black women no more,” Banks, who was suspended last month with pay, is heard telling the attendees in the recording. “I’m to that point. I ain’t got no white women beating down my door to come in and work. But I wish they would. Cause I don’t have these problems.”

The police chief continued: “I don’t have no Hispanic women. Hell, I don’t want them neither. Cause you know what comes with it? A whole of lot of f—–g attitude. And I don’t want it. I’m the only one with an attitude in this place. Me.”

The recording was confirmed to the FOX 5 I-Team by an individual who attended the meeting. The news outlet also sent the recording to the Veterans Association. A spokesperson responded to the recording in a statement, saying that “there is no place for racism or discrimination at VA, and these comments are unacceptable.”

Banks and two senior commanders were suspended in May over certain workplace behaviors the VA described as “unacceptable.” This included “allegations of sexual assault and harassment” in the department, FOX 5 Atlanta reported. 

Banks became the Atlanta VA Medical Center police chief toward the end of 2022. She took over when the department was embroiled with complaints including favoritism and sexism.

Johnnie McCullor, the police department’s deputy chief, was accused of sexual assault by a woman identified as Shaneka Jackson months before Banks took over. And though McCullor denied those allegations, an investigation by the VA cast doubts about his honesty and determined Jackson was “accurate and truthful.”

McCullor, however, continued to serve as deputy chief while a private security company Jackson was working with fired her. Banks also allowed McCullor to remain at post, though it cannot be established if she was aware of the IA findings. 

The same deputy chief, in December 2023, got embroiled in another controversy after a different female officer claimed in a complaint that McCullor had threatened to grab her hair and drag her down the hallway, FOX 5 Atlanta reported.

It could not established if any action was taken after the complaint was filed, but the chief addressed McCullor during a department-wide meeting in January. “Deputy Chief McCullor, if you don’t know how to talk to people, tell me now so I can do whatever I need to do to get you disciplined… again,” the chief reportedly said.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), has since demanded details about the Atlanta VA Medical Center Police Department. Bost has demanded “all unredacted” internal investigations concerning the suspended senior officers. 

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: June 6, 2024


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