December 7, 2017 / 4:08 PM / 11 days ago

Indiana police officer reinstated after 'white male privilege' remark

(Reuters) - A female Indiana police officer suspended after calling out a fellow officer for “white male privilege” during a transgender awareness training session was reinstated on Thursday.

Plainfield police Captain Carri Weber, placed on leave following an incident posted online that drew national press attention, was issued a reprimand but returned to her duties by the city’s board of police commissioners, city officials said.

The suspension stemmed from a Nov. 1 Plainfield police diversity training seminar, a video of which was obtained by local media and posted online. At one point, a male officer could be heard questioning figures suggesting that transgender people faced a higher risk of police violence, WRTV reported.

“Most of the people that I know have never been, accused the police of violence. So I guess I don’t get where that statistic comes from,” a man can be heard saying.

“‘Cause (of) your white male privilege, so you wouldn’t know,” said a woman’s voice, which local media identified as Weber.

After Weber’s comment, an uproar can be heard on the video as men say “Wow” and “I‘m sorry?” before a voice asked the police chief if he would let someone “get away with that.”

“Seriously? I‘m asking a legitimate question here ... Are you serious? I find that extremely offensive,” a male officer says in the video.

An unnamed office filed a complaint against Weber alleging the officer was “racially and sexistly slurred” by Weber and that she held “discriminatory views,” WRTV reported.

Tony Perona, deputy manager of the town outside of Indianapolis, said in an earlier statement that Weber and Captain Scott Arndt were the officers involved in the training dispute. Both are white.

Reuters could not reach either of the police officers in the video, both of whom were identified by city officials.

Arndt was suspended for two days without pay for conduct unbecoming an officer, the statement said.

Weber was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation for conduct unbecoming an officer involving the incident and others in recent months, city officials said.

A group called “Don’t Sleep” on Facebook invited supporters to wear Black Lives Matter attire at Thursday’s meeting.

“Plainfield is an inclusive community and while we regret this situation occurred, we welcome the resolution of this matter,” according to a statement from the city provided to Reuters on Thursday.

Reporting by Chris Kenning; Editing by Susan Thomas and James Dalgleish

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