Former alderwoman claims racism and favoritism in Covington - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Former alderwoman claims racism and favoritism in Covington

(WMC-TV) - A group of residents in Covington, Tennessee are concerned the city isn't racially diverse.  The residents have already addressed the city board, and now they've gone all the way to the Justice Department for answers.

"There isn't a single black in a decision making role within the police department and in the best interest of the city, this should not continue," former alderwoman Minnie Bommer said.

Bommer addressed Covington's City Board earlier this week, claiming there aren't enough black officers on the city's police and fire departments.

Bommer is part of a group called the Concerned Citizens of Color in Covington. In addition to questioning the city's hiring practices, Bommer also alleges favoritism when it comes to hiring. 

"But instead of addressing the concerns, the police chief gave the next promotion to an alderman's son," she said.

Bommer has contacted the Justice Department to look into these allegations.

Covington Mayor David Gordon says the percentage of African American officers on the police department is above thirty percent, but admits it needs to be higher.

In a statement, Gordon said, "As mayor of the City of Covington, I look forward to addressing the concerns raised by the Concerned Citizens of Color in Covington. If the process brings things to light that need changing or improving we will do so."

Meanwhile, Bommer and others are demanding answers.

"This is clearly favoritism or racism, and can't be allowed in 2011," she said.

According to Gordon, the issue will be discussed at the city finance and administration meeting this coming Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.

The meeting will be held at Covington City Hall, and is open to the public.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly