The Coastal Star

Manalapan: Resident behind profiling complaint demands firings

An attorney for the Manalapan resident who claims the town’s police engage in racial profiling has demanded that the police chief and one of his officers be fired as corrective action. 

In a Feb. 21 letter to the mayor, West Palm Beach attorney Jack Scarola recounted charges made by Kersen De Jong that De Jong’s friend, Daniel Billings, was followed several times to De Jong’s home without reason.

De Jong also has charged that Mattox and Police Officer Wayne Shepherd told him that police policy was to keep visitors out of town. Both Mattox and Shepherd have denied that.

De Jong also claimed that several town officials, including Shepherd, lied about his previous employment, that town crime statistics were inflated and that commissioners should have corrected the incorrect numbers.

Besides the dismissals, Scarola also demanded that the police write an anti-profiling policy and file it with state officials.

Town Manager Linda Stumpf, Mayor Basil Diamond and Mattox all declined to comment on the demands, saying the town attorney would respond to the letter soon.

In December, De Jong filed a profiling complaint with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which said it had no jurisdiction and referred the charge to the U.S. Attorney in Tallahassee. De Jong said that office has not interviewed him.

— Tim O’Meilia

 

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