Final Call Newspaper Article
D.C. Men Tell Horror Stories
By James Wright
Washington African-American Newspaper
and the Washington Tribune
March 29, 1997
The U.S. Marshals Service is rampant with discrimination against minority
marshals and there is little that is done to discourage the bad behavior,
according to the New York Post series, "BIGOTS WITH BADGES" which
was published in four consecutive editions from Sunday March 16 to Wednesday,
The stories were written by William Sherman and Daniel Goldfarb.
The Marshall Service is the oldest federal police force in the country,
founded in 1789, and its duties include witness protection, making felony
arrest in federal crimes; transporting fugitives of the law from other
states; managing the Asset Forfeiture Program; and carrying out federal
orders from the President, such as riot control.
Put In Cellblock
Art Lloyd, a U.S. Marshal who works in the federal courthouse in Washington,
D.C., revealed in the story how he was locked up with prisoners. He said
that his White coworkers were upset about the discrimination complaint
filed by him.
"I was in a cellblock taking handcuffs off of prisoners who were
ringleaders in a prison riot when a White supervisor locked me in the cell,"
Mr. Lloyd said.
"All the White deputies had left, and I came very close to getting
killed. They locked me in there for 30 minutes and the only reason I got
out was because they had to bring in the prisoner's lunch wagon and unlocked
the door," he said.
The New York Post story cited other examples of such behavior as:
- White deputies setting up Black deputies for beatings by prison
- White deputies failing to provide backup for Black deputies making
- White deputies using Martin Luther King's picture for target practice
during an annual firearms qualification test;
- A White deputy terrorizing Black female deputies by running through
a marshal's office dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
One of the newspapers chief sources, Matthew Fogg, who has been in
the Marshal's office here in D.C. since 1983, told the AFRO in an interview
on March 26, that he was discriminated against at various times for promotions
and will take his case to federal court. The court date is Monday, May
19 and he will be represented, free of charge, by a local law firm, Zuckert,
Scout and Rasenburger.
Mr. Fogg said he tried to contact the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his son
Cong. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill) and many members of the Congressional Black
Caucus with no luck. Attempts to reach the White House through the Internet
were to no avail, either.
The New York Post article stated that 264 of the 292 marshals hired
last year were White and the workforce is 79 percent white.
On Monday, March 17, the newspaper ran the story of Bill Scott, who
is Black and his former partner, Steve Zanowic. Mr. Scott, though he received
many awards for his work, was regularly called "N-----" and coon,
in the presence of Mr. Zanowic. When Mr. Zanowic made it clear that he
stood by his partner, he was called a "N----r lover" and a "half
Death threats, pictures of dead rats, and racially insulting messages
were commonplace. Mr. Zanowic said in the article that he was hit in the
groin at a battalion training session by an instructor who was demonstrating
the use of a weapon. He was left unattended and wobbled to the hospital.
The newspaper told a story of how Mr. Scott was set up to be killed
by a crazed drug lord. When calling for backup, the White agents disappeared.
He eventually captured the man but instead of being praised, he was reprimanded.
The series quoted Clevand Vaughn, a former U.S. Marshal from Nebraska
who was appointed by President Clinton in 1993, but resigned in 1996. Mr.
Vaughn was quoted as saying that hiring Black marshals was a challenge
and frustrating because of the White male, "good ole boys' system.
U.S. Marshals spokesperson, William Dempsey, was quoted as saying that
"the service is taking steps to alleviate imbalances in the system,"
but will not acknowledge that mistakes were being made.
William Sherman of the New York Post, one of the investigative reporters,
told the AFRO on Wednesday that the Rev. Al Sharpton has petitioned for
a formal investigation in U.S. District Court. Also calling for an investigation
are Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan (D-NY) and Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY).
Mr. Sherman has also said that he has received calls from workers in
the U.S. Park Service and the New York Transit Authority.
Final Call Newspaper Article