Written by: Sam Orlando
Allegations of Corruption and Discrimination
In a shocking revelation, Fresno Police Lieutenant Ignacio Ruiz Jr. has filed a claim for damages, accusing the Fresno Police Department and Mayor Jerry Dyer of systemic racial discrimination and corruption. The 18-page claim, fraught with allegations of malfeasance, points to a deep divide within the department, with officers reportedly split along racial lines.
The Power Struggle and Promotion Issues
According to Lt. Ruiz, white officers in the department are more likely to be promoted than their minority counterparts, and minority officers often face harsher punishment for infractions. He asserts that this systemic discrimination began under the 18-year leadership of former Police Chief and current Mayor Jerry Dyer and continues to this day. Ruiz alleges that Mayor Dyer still exerts undue influence on Police Chief Paco Balderrama, perpetuating a culture of bias and favoritism.
Specific Incidences Cited
Ruiz's claim cites specific incidents of alleged corruption, including biased internal investigations and preferential treatment towards officers linked to Dyer. He also accuses certain officers of spreading gossip, lies, and confidential information. Ruiz himself became a target of an Internal Affairs investigation, which he claims is tainted and driven by personal vendettas.
The Suspension and Legal Battle
In response to exercising his free speech rights, Ruiz claims that Fresno police officials have suspended him, confiscated his badge and gun, and threatened termination. His attorney, Kevin Little, states that this treatment is a direct violation of his client's rights. Fresno Police Lt. William Dooley has stated that the department does not comment on active litigation.
Ruiz's Claim and Dyer's History
The claim delves into past accusations against Dyer of discrimination and hostile work environment, costing taxpayers significantly in litigation and settlements. Ruiz also brings up an old allegation against Dyer of having a sexual relationship with an underage girl, which Dyer has never publicly denied.
Ruiz's Service and Career Challenges
Lt. Ruiz, with 25 years of service in the Fresno Police Department, has held various significant positions, including as a homicide detective, anti-gang task force supervisor, and southwest field commander. However, his career faced challenges following the investigation into a minor incident involving his work vehicle, leading to rumors and personal attacks against him.
Racial Strife Within the Department
Ruiz's claim paints a picture of a department rife with racial strife, with groups within the department being derogatorily labeled and engaged in power struggles. He describes an environment where minority officers are not only discriminated against in promotions but are also the subject of gossip and slander.
Calls for Federal Investigation
Ruiz believes the only hope for resolving these deep-seated issues is a federal investigation into the department for corruption and racial discrimination.
The Community's Response
As these allegations come to light, the Fresno community is left grappling with the implications of such claims within its police department. Breaking Through News will continue to follow this story closely, providing updates on the legal proceedings and the community's response to these serious allegations.