Good Afternoon Honorable Congress-members, Members of the
Congressional Black Caucus and staff. My name is John P. Sutton
and I am a resident and domiciliary of the State of Michigan. I
am a retired Special Agent of the U.S. Department of
Justices Drug Enforcement Administration having ascertained
the rank of Special Agent-in-Charge of the St. Louis, Missouri
Field Division. I retired in August 1994. I have served our great
nation in public service for twenty-eight years. I am honored to
serve my country. However, I am sad to speak today on the
practice of some members of our federal government. That practice
is unlawful discrimination against our most precious resource --
our great federal workforce.
I have been given the honor of speaking on behalf of our
association, BLACK SPECIAL AGENTS AGAINST INJUSTICE (BSAAI). Our
organization is comprised of current, and former Special Agents
of the U.S. Department of Justices Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA). Our association also includes applicants
who are seeking employment with DEA.
Our organization, Honorable Congress-Member, to oppose the
systemic pattern and practices of unlawful employment
discrimination against our members individually and as a class
based on our race (African-American), color (Black), retaliation
and reprisal because we have and always will -- stand up for and
speak up for truth and justice for all people.
Respecting your time parameters, Honorable
Congress-members, may I -- on behalf of all of the adversely
affected impacted Special Agents -- please share with you, your
fellow Congress members and our fellow citizens some of the
practices and policies which we believe are contrary to the
letter and spirit of the civil rights laws enacted by this great
Black Special Agents
Against Injustice (B.S.A.A.I.)
1. In 1982, in a class action of African
American Special Agents against the U.S. Attorney General in the
United States District Court (District of Columbia), the
Honorable Judge Aubrey Robinson ruled that the Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) had discriminated against the Plaintiffs on
the basis of their race: African American.
2. Judge Robinson issued an order that DEA
cease discriminating against its Black Special Agents. To this
date, that Order has been all but ignored.
3. The discrimination faced today by Black
Special Agents is now more pervasive and more egregious than at
4. A number of African Americans have
previously cried out for help from their Congressional
Representatives. Their cries have failed on deaf ears.
5. When Congressman, Honorable William Clay,
was Chairman of the Postal Employees and Civil Service Committee,
his Committee held hearings on employment patterns and practices
against federal employees. Honorable Clays Committee
discussed widespread discrimination throughout the federal
government. That discrimination was bad. Today, the
discrimination has increased to a level of being absolutely
6. Many Black employees, specifically in DEA,
believe -- since Congressman Clays hearings -- that there
has not been any meaningful hearings regarding employment
discrimination in the federal government. Respectfully, may I
inform this honorable group, that discrimination in federal
employment in general and in DEA specifically, is as bad today as
it was in the days of Jim Crow. Our situation is an embarrassment
to the American flag!
7. Currently, based on our information, DEA
willfully discriminates and retaliates against its employees on
the basis of race! It also appears that DEA abuses the federal
Grand Jury process to promote employment discrimination.
8. This matter (Grand Jury abuse) has been
brought to the attention of Attorney General Janet Reno and
Inspector General Michael Bromwich. It is believed that the
investigation by the Justice Departments Office of
Professional Responsibility (OPR) is being whitewashed.
9. We have evidence which strongly suggests
that DOJs OPR manufactures, concocts, and contrives false
charges against Black Special Agents, Technical Employees and
other Black Employees as part of its practice to unlawfully
discriminate and retaliate against its employees.
10. The hostile work environment DEA maintains
is illustrated in the example of a supervisory white DEA Special
Agent willfully, while under the influence of alcohol at a social
function, slapped (assaulted) a Black Special Agent. This example
is by no means an isolated occasion.
11. In its hiring process, DEA uses overt and
covert discriminatory practices against Black applicants which
are violations of federal law.
1. Request the CBC to press
for hearings on employment abuses.
2. Strength the federal civil rights laws to
authorize corrective action against alleged federal
3. Determine how, if at all, federal agencies
hold their respective agencys accountable for enforcement
of the civil rights laws.
4. Establish responsible watch agencies.