A Lansing, Michigan, police officer has been fired after letting lashing out at a colleague with a series of racial slurs.
According to the Lansing State Journal, Leonel Rangel, who is Hispanic, was cited by the Lansing Police Department (LPD) for a series of comments he made last November.
The disciplinary charge sheet reports that while Rangel was in the report writing room at the station, he was heard stating, “Somali citizens need to return to the Congo.” That very same day he also allegedly opined that a fellow officer would not be promoted because he was “dumb and Black.”
Perhaps the most egregious of his sins, the charge sheet also said that he had answered a phone call by saying: “What’s up [n-word]?”
Following these incidents, the officer’s immediate superior, Sergeant Ed Guerra, recommended he be suspended for 30 days and be ordered to undergo diversity training. However, following a hearing, police chief Mike Yankowski insisted that Rangel be fired in December.
Initially, Yankowski declined to disclose the identity of the officer, citing that there was a union grievance filed about the dismissal. Lansing’s attorney office had also ruled that disclosing the details of the case “would have a chilling effect upon internal investigations.”
But the State Journal was ultimately able to reveal the officer’s identity by filing a freedom of information request. After the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards refused to confirm or deny whether Rangel was still serving, the newspaper opted to make another freedom of information request over whether he is still licensed as a police officer.