The Black Police Association vs. The Dallas Morning News (And a Few Others Too)

Categories: Crime, Media, News
Eiserer CNN-thumb-240x141-121881.jpg
"Cocksucker?" "Asshole?" You're working for the wrong paper, Tanya.
The Black Police Association of Greater Dallas, which represents the area's black police officers, is waging a serious PR campaign against The Dallas Morning News and journalist Tanya Eiserer, a longtime criminal justice reporter at the paper. And while they're at it, the association is taking swipes at some fellow officers.

Although the two sides dispute the severity and the exact circumstances, the newspaper and the BPA agree that Eiserer used the words "cocksucker" and "asshole" outside Dallas Police Chief David Brown's office after being denied what she thought was supposed to be an exclusive interview. But while The News says Eiserer was cursing out of frustration -- and not directing it at anyone in particular -- the BPA says she was swearing about Chief Brown.

"Ms. Eiserer's antics are symptomatic of a pernicious spirit troubling the soul of America," the BPA writes in a press release. "Black leadership in America is under disproportionate scrutiny and assault by neo-conservatives, state righters, and uncouth birthers. The Black Police Association of Greater Dallas, Incorporated will not tolerate the local media aiding and abetting these assaults. The Black Police Association of Greater Dallas understands that this event is a carryover of the general disrespect for Black leadership in the Dallas Police Department by union officials -- both Anglo and those with dual consciousness."

They're calling for Eiserer to be fired. They also want "mandatory and documented anti-racism training" for all News reporters, executives and staff, and for Dallas's Only Daily to hire "representative numbers" of black, Asian and Hispanic reporters. It also called for the firing or discipline of any police personnel who knew about the event and "failed to act appropriately," and for the discipline of Glenn White, president of the Dallas Police Association, "for his public statements that fueled discord within the ranks of the Dallas Police Department."

Preston Gilstrap, president of the BPA, tells Unfair Park that Eiserer "referenced the chief as an 'asshole' and a 'cocksucker' in his office complex with other journalists there and some of his staff." Brown himself had already left the room.

Gilstrap claims Eiserer approached Brown for an exclusive story about his plan to put senior officers back on street patrol for two weeks every six months. More precisely, she wanted to talk about Glenn White's reaction to the plan, which White previously called "foolish" and "the stupidest thing that [Brown] could do," according to WFAA. White also criticized the department last year for providing police escorts for Chief Brown's son's funeral after he shot and killed a man in Lancaster, then a responding police officer, before dying himself in a gunfight with the cops.

Eiserer, Gilstrap told us, "wanted an exclusive. ... [Brown] did not afford her one, and he walked into the other portion of [his office] compound. That's when she went into this profane tirade." Gilstrap also criticized White for his public questioning of Brown.

"I've been on the police department for 40 years and been involved in association business for 36," said Gilstrap, a sergeant. "I've never heard an association or a union leader speak this way about the chief. They might do it in their business meetings or their board meetings, but never on TV. These people work at the pleasure of the chief. I've never seen this level of disrespect."

White's role in the story is a window into ongoing discord among the city's police associations, which include the Fraternal Order of Police, the Lieutenant's Union, the Dallas Latino Peace Officers Association, the BPA and the DPA, the largest. We've heard from several officers that there's dissatisfaction among the ranks with Brown, and that the FOP is debating a vote of no confidence against him.

Michael Walton, the FOP's president, didn't immediately return a phone call for comment, but he too is catching fire from the BPA. Walton is also black, and Gilstrap criticized him for not supporting Brown, and for not attending weekly meetings Brown has set up with the five police organizations. Gilstrap claims that no one from the DPA or the FOP, the two largest associations, have ever attended the meetings.

Gilstrap called Walton "a child of the institution" and suggested he has been "co-opted" by a broader culture within the Dallas Police, one that encourages disrespect of Brown's leadership.

"He is a carrier of double consciousness," Gilstrap said, referring to the W.E.B. DuBois concept of African-Americans who assimilate society's racist attitudes about black people into their own self-image.

As for reporter Eiserer, The News addressed the controversy in a brief, unbylined article last night, calling the incident at Brown's office "the result of apparent confusion over media arrangements." Eiserer referred our call to editor Bob Mong, who told us that Eiserer showed up for the meeting with the understanding that she and another News reporter were getting an exclusive, one-on-one interview with the chief. Although Eiserer's remarks weren't directed at the chief, she still regrets them.

"She apologized to the department over Labor Day weekend," Mong said. "I know she's really sorry she lost her composure. I think she was frustrated. ... I don't think she was speaking to anybody in particular. She knows her remarks were inappropriate and unprofessional. I know she feels very badly."

Mong said Eiserer only realized the meeting was actually an "all-in" press conference when she got to Brown's office. She got frustrated, and turned around to leave.

And then, we asked, she said "asshole, cocksucker," right?

"Yeah, not that way exactly," Mong said, sounding a little abashed. "She said one and then walked a few steps and said the other. Not to be too graphic."

Referring to the BPA's other demands, Mong said the paper was making an effort to hire more minorities as a way to address "the growing racial and ethnic diversity in the market."

"We've tried very hard to diversify our staff. You can always do better. Just as I'm sure

the Observer can," he said.

Mong said Gilstrap called him yesterday to let him know that the Black Police Association would be holding the press conference. But he was "surprised," he said, that it was being described as a potentially racist incident.

"My feeling it was not a racial comment," he said. "It was not racially motivated."



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90 comments
Perry Moore
Perry Moore

First, I want to know if Ms. Eiserer was speaking on the record. Sorry, but given the ethical condition of her vocation, the question seems delicious enough to ask. Second, police officers ought to hear what people say about them after the ticket is issued. Third, any officer that would take offense to Ms. Eiserer's language regarding Chief Brown would surely have arrested my wife this morning for what she said about me.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Little education here:Black people have a culture also part of that is respect for authority,no disrespect of Officials,and surely not in their house(police station) certain words Black people don't call each other cocksucker and asshole are two of them,while White people use them freely.I don't think Tanya was being racist she was being disrespectful and said what she did loud enough for others to hear,that is what angered people,they were offended by the language indirectly mumbled in the air.David Brown is no whiner he got his job , starting at the ,bottom and working30 years to the top  in Dallas,born here loyal to his home.Chief Brown knows who he is and could care less about a twisted reporter,however we care and do not intend to allow people to be disrespectful regardless to race,creed or color sexual orientation..

Pjkj
Pjkj

Tanya, to my knowledge,  has never shot an unarmed burglary suspect.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

You've gotta love the BPA getting involved in this issue, as they did when Terry Terrell Bolton screwed up the police department years ago. Anytime someone says something against a brother or sister who doesnt know how to do their job they get called a racists. I love that Brown, who really isnt liked by many of the rank & file due to his dead wackjob cop killing son, is having to be defended by a group of folks whos primary purposes isnt to represent officers of color, but to be exclusively contrarian to the DPA, who accepts folks of all races, creeds and colors to their membership.

Trey Garrison
Trey Garrison

"(Our) leadership in is under disproportionate scrutiny and assault. The (Sturmabteilung) will not tolerate the local media aiding and abetting these assaults. The (Sturmabteilung) understands that this event is a carryover of the general disrespect for (our) leadership..."

batcountry
batcountry

Anyone who knows Tanya knows any racial aspect of this flap is bogus. I used to work in the newsroom with Tanya. She's a tough, competent reporter. It's just that her colorful vocabulary makes sailors weep for their poverty of expression, and she is an equal opportunity offender.

Bpa
Bpa

The BPA Board of Directors are not in support of former President Gilstrap comments!!!

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Wow, I guess all those sensitivity classes for law enforcement finally paid off!

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

1. Reporters re not angels, they are human.

2. They have personal freedom of speech, like all of us do.

3. Asshole and cocksucker are perjorative terms that refer to ANYONE, not blacks in particular.

4. Get a grip on reality BPA, and do something useful. Realize that a BLACK police chief can be criticized and seen as a jerk, JUST LIKE WHITE MEN CAN. To me, that is true equality.

5.  Expect a reporter to not be pissed when not geting an exclusive, fine, she got mad. She cussed, hell, we all do. She got caught and apologized. The next time some BLACK politician or reverend insults or makes false statements about a white man, in public or in private, out loud or under their breath,  I expect the BPA to be Johnny-on-the-spot and make damned sure they are fired from their job, too.

It is 2011, folks. Go after REAL racism. There's plenty around. Quit inventing issues.

Watching South Detroit
Watching South Detroit

I don't see how "cocksucker and asshole" are racist - sounds non-racial and can be applied to many people I know of all races.  But how is it ok when one black person calls another the "n-word"?  Why is that acceptable?  The pullers of the race card need to be more consistent when they cry racists.

BCulbreath
BCulbreath

This Reporter has always had a dislike for certain people she suffers from some type of anger issues towards minorities.This person feeds off of negative conversation and has a tendency to hang with the Glenn White's of the world. I would hate to be on a street at 1AM coming from hospital and be stopped by a police name Glenn White. There are hundreds of wonderful Police officers and Chief Brown is one of them,all he wants from the force is work for pay any idea he brings forth should be supported by the force.Streets have changed people out there have changed,sitting in an office does not make you ready for a life or death situation on street.Working two weeks to stay updated is a great idea,it could save your life.Tanya has some identity problems herself.

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

This is odd...I didn't know that cocksucker and asshole were racially-based terms.  Gotta love racists calling everything they don't like racist, even when it has nothing to do with race.

Click Chow
Click Chow

LOL. "Uncouth birthers". I don't like this guy but I got to hand it to him...he knocked that one out of the ballpark. Conservaturd birthers are the laughing stick of the nation. Calling someone a birther is worse than caling someone an son of a whore.....  Well played, Angry Black Man. Well played....

ThePhenom972@yahoo
ThePhenom972@yahoo

The only thing racist in this whole situation is having a Black Police Association. Where's the Asian Police Association? Hispanic Police Association? White Police Association???

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

She should be fired. Would she say that to the mayor , to the president of the citizens council,the city manager, or the governor?  Take race of out the picture and just call it what it is low class and disrespectful.

Just wondering what was her punishment, a promotion?

Pjkj
Pjkj

@nealk-this isn't about Eiserer, it'sabout armed government employees making demands on a free and privatepress.

Doug in DFW
Doug in DFW

Fitting punishment for Eiserer = police escort down Central with Arthur & Archie as grand marshals

NealK
NealK

You know, the BPA would have had a winning issue if they had put out a press release that simply called out Tanya Eiserer for being herself - an entitled little bitch, just like most journalists male and female.  But being the idiots they are, they couldn't resist the race angle, which these days has about as much impact as accusing someone of littering, and and they just had to demand her firing, which is almost as tedious as calling someone a racist.

Pjkj
Pjkj

"The Black Police Association of Greater Dallas, Incorporated will not tolerate the local media aiding and abetting these assaults."

So what are they gonna do? 

Keep it real
Keep it real

Ugh, those that really know chief brown will tell you he would take that as a compliment. Asshole? While, thank you. He wants to control everything, yes, everything. He is good at playing others, and Tanya, you got played. She knows it and is frustrated about it. Next time, you must bow down and kiss his ring first, then speak. That's the way his commanders do it. Learn young tanya, learn.

Sam
Sam

I'm more disturbed by the BPA's obvious disdain of conservatives, if that's how their officers feel they can't be trusted to do their job and need to find employment elsewhere.

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

Black people don't call each other assholes or cocksuckers?

LOL. You sound like a person that doesn't hang out with too many "black" people.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

"Black people have a culture also part of that is respect for authority,no disrespect of Officials,and surely not in their house(police station)...."  Oh really?  The entire civil rights movement in the 1960s was based on "disrespect" for civil authority, especially to the police.  It was disrespectful for the marchers to march over that bridge in Selma after being told not to.  It was disrespectful for the students to stay sitting at the lunch counter at Woolworth's after being told to leave.  Dr. King's message was disobedience to authority.  And yes, I know that his message didn't include using profanity, but he certainly was not "respectful" to authorities who thwarted his mission.So black people don't use the words "asshole" and "cocksucker," that's cool; you don't see the "N" word, used frequently by blacks, used as frequently by whites.  But just because someone who is not black uses offensive words not usually used by blacks doesn't make her a racist or incapable of unbiased reporting; she is carrying on a fine American tradition in being disrespectful of authority.  I seem to recall that Dick Cheney had a similar overheard soto voce faux pas while presiding over the U.S. Senate while Vice President.   Frankly, I'm happy to see a DMN writer who does not appear to have had all of the life sucked out of her.    

Pjkj
Pjkj

So hip hop is a sign of respect towards authority, towards women, etc?

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Okay, dammit, we get it. Blacks don't like cocksucker. We don't like the N-word. How about all blacks quit using that word, and we won't use the C-word? Deal? And again, folks, we live in a nation where we have freedom of speech. I didn't see one BLACK yell out foul when J W P called out slurs on whites at a commisioners court meeting. True equality means having the sense to let some things pass you by. Cry about it, and it looks like you cannot handle the job. So make up one's mind.

And Betty, seriously, I like you, but not all blacks have a culture of respect for authority. Teach in DISD for one week, and you will clearly get that.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

This is not about his son and I hope you are not a police officer.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Over the line when talking about his son, Chris. That man, no matter his crimes of the time, still had a mother and family. Go after the dad as a cop, but the son, uh-uh. Not cool.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

Diane, so sorry that you seem so racially bitter.  The BPA is not the only group or person that thought  the language that she used was foul and inappropriate for a reporter that will be writing stories that should not be bias but factual.

Since you are defending her right to use such language and you are a teacher, I hope that students do not have that type of personal freedom of speech in your classroom.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

No, my thing was "uncouth," as there could be a "couth" version....

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

Did you read the article?  If you don't know, Latino Peace Officer Association is hispanic.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

I don't think, reading the article, that she said it to them, she said it about them.  When GWB was president and Tom Leppert was mayor, I said much worse, including indelicate references to incest.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

Under her breath and with the assumption that no one heard her she would say that about any of the perceived sacred cows you rattled off. People do it day in and day out to deal with the various bullshit people and life throw at them. Then they move on and miraculously society doesn't unravel out from under us, that is until some idiot with a martyr complex decides to make political hay out of it.

Borborygmus
Borborygmus

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No, seriously. I would say that to they mayor if I was pissed off at him. I would probably throw out a "fuck" or two, not as an offer, but as an exclamation of my frustration. Freedom of speech in this instance did not cross the racial lines, only the bureaucratic ones.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Actually, they do Joyce. They say the most horrible things, and I give them a chance to retract it and apologize. When they do, it is over. If they refuse and say it again, well then, that is a different event.

And Joyce, you know me. Come on, racially bitter? No, not even. I am racially real. Working for 13 years in DISD has given me plenty of time to see REAL racism and FAKE racism. Yes, Joyce, WHITE people can be falsely accused or misjudged, solely on their skin color... Growing up in Dallas, I can smell a grandstand play with the race-card a mile away. Let me make it clear. ASSHOLE is not a BLACK ONLY word. I am sure Joyce, you have met white assholes in your life. (hell, even me) Read the story. She did not say black asshole, or n&*^^% asshole. She said ASSHOLE. Get it, she was pissed off? Here is a truth no other white person will say out loud: You want us to take you seriously when there IS a racial incident? Then, by God, quit making ANYTHING to do with a black man a racial incident. True equality means you are judged not by the color of your skin, but if you act like an asshole. And by the way, I did not call him one just now. Just sayin' is all...

Paul
Paul

There is no white police officer association because that would be racist.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

Saying to him or about him where it could be heard is wrong.  You might say those things, but are you in a position where you have to write stories that are not suppose to be bias?  She is, and in my humble opionion she has shown where she stands.  She should be fired immediately.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

Sorry but apparently it was not under her breath.  She was heard and apologized to the chief.  I do not care what she thinks or says under her breath.  If she is that kind of a reporter, then she is too bias to have that job.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

I never spoke about racial lines, I am speaking of being respectful.  While you might do all of those things, a reporter has standards that we all expect.  She should be fired immediately.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Then let it go. Show your character. We have such big problems in this country right now, is this really sometign to worry about?

You know I still regard you highly.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

Diane, I am sure you would be surprised but I clearly understand WHITE people can be falsely accused or misjudged soley on the color of their skin. I grew up in Dallas also, and clearly understand the bias against African Americans in this city.  I have lived it ALL of my life. 

I understand ASSHOLE is not a work used only about African Americans.  I do have enough intelligence to be aware that the word has no reference to a color.  I have called people ASSHOLES myself, but she did not only use the word ASSHOLE she also said COCKSUCKER.  That is profane and unacceptable.  You can defend it anyway that you want, but I have my opinion and you have yours.  I am not playing any race card but it is clear to me that the defense is up based on the belief if you support and defend an African American, surely you must be playing the race card. I have defended people of all races and will continue to do so as long as I live, but I will not let anyone stop me from speaking out if I believe something is done wrong to an African American by saying I am using the race card. 

Using the words " not being judged by the color of your skin", shows that you still do not get it.  I am always judge by the color of my skin by many people.  This is America.  My character plays an important role with good human beings of all races and there are many that I have encountered in my lifetime.

I am strong in my beliefs and will stand for whatever I believe in no matter who do not agree with me.  Be blessed.

Paul
Paul

Are you saying that the DPA is white only, or caters only to the needs of the white police officers?

Are you saying that the membership of the DPA actively or passively discourages participation by minority police officers?

What would be the problem with a white only police officer association?  Why are other police associations able to discriminate on the basis of color and ethnicity?

How many (or what percentage) whites or hispanics are in the BPA?How many (or what percentage) whites or AA are in the LPOA?How many (or what percentage) AA and latinos are in the DPA?

If the DPD is racially polarized then there appears to be a major problem that the management needs to deal with and deal with now.

Inquiring minds want to know ...

Hasanmary
Hasanmary

It's called the Dallas Police Association.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Well, I know of police officers who have called arrestees "cocksuckers," "bastards," "scumbags" and my personal favorite "scrotes" (I know of what I speak, I was in law enforcement).  While they may be insulting and intemperate comments, they weren't racist.  And, for goodness sake, it was an intemperate remark made in a moment of frustration (kind of like JWP's, "you're all white, go to hell"), that doesn't merit someone losing their job over it.

Is your particular objection to "cocksucker" that it carries an implication of homosexuality.  Do you honestly believe that the reporter was casting a homosexual aspersion at Chief Brown? If so, I'd suggest that you work on growing a sense of proportion, and start with watching the Wanda Sykes YouTube video about why it is harder to be gay than black. 

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

Dallas Diner, if Chief Brown had used that language toward someone he arrested and a complaint was filed against him he would have been in big trouble.You guys continue to focus only on ASSHOLE.  Why not defend the use of the word COCKSUCKER.  I would think more of your opinions if you did.

Chief Brown is a quiet man and probably wish that this would go away.  It is a distraction from his job and the only reason that it continues is that people like you try to defend the use of the foul language by this reporter and continue to try and make it a racial issue because some people are not happy with the foul language used by this reporter.  You want to make it a racial issue because African Americans are defending a police chief who is African American.  IT IS NOT A RACIAL ISSUE FOR ME.  It is the foul language used by this reporter who I believe will not be able to cover a story on the police department or the police chief without being bias.

I am not speaking for the BPA.  They have their reasons for doing what they did , and I am sure that are capable of speaking for themselves.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

No, where she stands was she made an intemperate statement in a moment of frustration.  That does not demonstrate that she can't validly report on the police department, and it certainly isn't grounds for firing her.  As an aside, do you think that in his entire career on the street, Chief Brown never referred to an arrestee, to the arrestee's face, as, for instance, an "asshole?"  Yet no one in his right mind would suggest that was grounds for firing him.  

I'd aslo like to note that none of the wrath and thunder seems to be coming from the man who was allegedly the target of the comments.  If he can let it go, why can't you? And to me the bigger puzzlement is why a bunch of cops, people who are not known for the delicacy of their language, have suddenly taken umbrage an words that have no racial connotation.  What would be interesting is to find out what the back story is--what is the BPA seeking to protect from public scrutiny, and why are they willing to alienate the DMNm which has been a pretty good friend of law enforcement.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Do her stories seem biased? If not, your logic does not apply. She does not check her humanity when she goes on the clock. She screwed up. Damn, let it go.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

You are wrong Scott, I am not a reactionary nor am I am apologis for bloated and unchallenged goverment.  In fact the statement is not about government, but about Chief Brown.  Changing the subject is the tactic that one uses when there is no other defense.  She should be fired immediately.

scottindallas
scottindallas

There is FAR too much deference and "respect" given to public "servants" by the media. The media is supposed to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. You Joyce are a reactionary, and an apologist for bloated and unchallenged gov't.

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