PHILADELPHIA – Two narcotics officers were demoted from an elite strike force and suspended without pay because of racially offensive stickers found inside a police department locker.
Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey this week punished officers Scott Schweizer and Eric Dial, transferring the pair out of the Narcotics Strike Force to routine patrol in districts where they started as rookies. The officers were also each suspended for 20 days without pay and prohibited from using vacation days toward the unpaid leave.
Two racist stickers were found inside Schweizer's locker. One sticker read: "White Power." The other depicted a cartoon of a man, half as an officer in uniform and half as a Klansman, with the words "Blue By Day — White By Night."
Ramsey described the discipline as harsh but just, and said he stopped short of firing the officers because they "had no histories that would indicate that they engaged in any racist type of activities."
Schweizer's attorney, Allan J. Sagot, maintained that his client was the victim of a practical joke played by another officer, who affixed the stickers to the outside of Schweizer's locker. Once he saw the stickers, Schweizer pulled them off his locker and stuck them inside, Sagot said.
An Internal Affairs Bureau investigation concluded that Dial created the stickers and put them on Schweizer's locker in the narcotics strike force headquarters in the city's Bridesburg section, Ramsey said.