Now in this particular case, mentioning that, did you feel that the
conflict became defined a
little bit differently as time went on?
No it was the same. There were clear issues. That's the one good thing about that situation
was that the issues were pretty clear and definitive and the numbers were there. The data was
So there weren't any factual discrepancies?
No there were a lot of discrepancies because people would express their position on an issue
and over a period of time they came to distort the issue.
They'd make statements like a black has never held a position above Sergeant. Well that's
not true and the city could show that in fact they'd had an assistant chief who was black. They'd
had a black captain. They'd had a black major. They had a bunch of black lieutenants. Over
the history of the department they'd had these but what had happened is that the black officers
just kept saying nobody has been above a Sergeant. And all of a sudden that becomes the truth
for them and it wasn't the truth. Factually that wasn't the truth, but for the black officers that
was real-- it had just materialized to that point. I could just cite that for a whole bunch of
different issues from the cities perspective, from the FOP's perspective, and from the black's
perspective. This is just human nature. We allow things to become something that they're not
because of the emphasis that we place on it.
Now once the facts were actually given and provided did the other
side accept those as facts?
Well let's just take the one we were just talking about. As I recall the response was
something to the effect of well, yeah we forgot about that, but that was 30 years ago. We're
talking about today. And that happened with those kinds of issues. People reluctantly
understand that the historical data is there because it's on paper and people can prove it. But
because they've made that an issue and they've stated their position, somehow there's got to be
some face saving taking place here and so we change the focus to today. That's what we're
talking about. And that way everybody has saved face all the way around the table. And that
happens a lot and it happened a lot in this case.
So they didn't lose any of their validity?
Their perspective, was "well we showed you." It's incredible to me how childish adults can
I don't know why because I see it repeatedly day after day but it has a whole "one-upsmanship."
Well we showed you that you were wrong. Yeah you did but you had to go back thirty years to
do it. It has that whole attitude. So everybody feels that they've made their point and now we
just have to figure out how to get it down on paper. That's the trick. <