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Instructors at DEA Training Academy Accused of Racial Discrimination

By Steve Neavling

Instructors at the DEA’s Training Academy have come under scrutiny following a rash of recent complaints about racial discrimination, The Associated Press reports.

In one case, an instructor is accused of calling a Black recruit a “monkey” and taunting others by making “monkey noises” on a loud speaker at the firing range. 

“We were like, ‘It’s 2019. That shouldn’t even be a thing that we’re dealing with,'” Derek Moise, a white trainee, said. “Everybody knows what those sounds and noises stand for.”

The complaints come as the DEA struggles to diversify its ranks. 

The DEA “has received a string of recent complaints describing a culture of racial discrimination at its training academy in which minorities are singled out, derided with insults and consistently held to a higher standard than their white counterparts,” The AP wrote, citing records and interviews with former recruits and law enforcement officials.  

In another case, an instructor said a Black recruit’s skin color made him a perfect candidate to work undercover. 

Hispanic recruits also leveled complaints about racial discrimination. 

Only 8% of the DEA’s special agents are Black, and 10% are Hispanic. 

“DEA takes allegations of misconduct very seriously and will not tolerate discriminatory behavior of any kind,” the agency said in a statement. “DEA is committed to recruiting, retaining and promoting a workforce that reflects the diversity of our country and the people we serve.”


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