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Anti-black flier sets off probe of police

Anti-black flier sets off probe of police

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WAUWATOSA (AP) - City officials have reopened an investigation into police misconduct after receiving copies of flyers that encourage hunting blacks for sport which may have been distributed by department personnel, a newspaper reported Friday.

City Administrator Gary J. Hamburg confirmed the investigation by Police Chief Barry Weber and a Milwaukee law firm will focus on the two documents.

The documents apparently were distributed before Weber took command of the department from Capt. Fred Basting in May and before the filing of disciplinary charges against members of the Police Departments third shift in March.

The March action resulted in 13 officers receiving suspensions for attending parties city officials said were derisive to blacks on Martin Luther King Day in 1988 and 1989. The reopened investigation might focus on only one person who may have distributed both documents, Mayor James Brundahl said Thursday.

John Kutz, a civilian clerk who transferred from the third shift to day work, verified that the documents were distributed.

One of the flyers is a mock directive from a non-existent state agency called the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The directive says the hunting of deer, rabbits and other traditional game will not be permitted in the state during the 1989-90 season.

"However, the governor has provided, by special decree, a substitute animal to be hunted so that the State will not lose license revenues and hunters will not lose their skills in the woods," says a copy of the notice obtained by The Milwaukee Journal.

It declares "there will be an open season" on blacks. It also makes derogatory comments about Puerto Ricans and Jamaicans.

The other flyer says "Official Runnin' Nigger Target," and includes a 9-inch-tall caricature silhouette of a black man running.

"No one can argue that the things found there are anything but disgusting and offensive," said Weber, who was asked Thursday by Hamburg to begin the investigation. "The information is so fresh we have not done anything with it yet."


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