The Wisconsin Justice Initiative on Wednesday filed a complaint against Officer Froilan Santiago with the Fire and Police Commission, alleging that comments Santiago made in a deposition "are irresponsible, unprofessional, an insult to the residents of Milwaukee and an embarrassment to the Milwaukee Police Department."
The complaint referred to Santiago's statement during a Federal Court deposition that drivers in traffic stops in the central city or on the North Side were likely to run.
"He might have drugs or guns, based on where I've worked at. District 7 or District 5," Santiago said.
In District 1 Downtown, however, "where it's more of people as far as the -- more able to communicate and more different lifestyle," he said.
He added: "District 1, you have a high percentage of people who's in college, who's in business, work, and stuff like that, and you deal with them differently as far as – and their behavior at that moment in time."
WJI Executive Director Gretchen Schuldt said in the complaint that it is unclear whether Santiago prejudices are based on race or economic status.
"It is very clear, though, that he carries them into his interactions with citizens every day he is on the job," she wrote.
The populations of Police Districts 5 and 7 include the largest percentages of African Americans among all the districts in the city, according to a U.S. Justice Department report on the Police Department.
"WJI urges the Fire and Police Commission to investigate Mr. Santiago's comments and ensure that he is not allowed to have any contact in any form with the citizens he plainly holds in such very, very low regard," Schuldt wrote.
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