Final Call Newspaper Article

D.C. Men Tell Horror Stories

By James Wright

Washington African-American Newspaper

and the Washington Tribune

March 29, 1997

Copyright Protected

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, March 19.

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:

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.

Death Threats

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 breed son".

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