Opening Remarks for August 17, 2020, Press Conference
By LAAPOA President/CEO Marshall McClain
LAAPOA is calling for an independent investigation into the LAX tenure of David L. Maggard Jr., Law Enforcement and Homeland Security Deputy Executive Director for Los Angeles World Airports.
Our LAXPD officers, and more specifically our minority police officers, have endured five years of discrimination, retaliation and toxic leadership by Director Maggard. He has been the subject of nine individual lawsuits — more than any other leader in department history. That’s in addition to a multitude of complaints and grievances focusing on race, gender and ADA offenses. Astoundingly, despite this, he has been promoted, not once, but twice — from assistant chief to chief in 2016, and then from chief to his current position in 2019. The role includes supervisory authority over 1,100 civilian and sworn personnel, including airport police. LAAPOA voiced our opposition when these issues were brought to light.
The City of Los Angeles has zero-tolerance policies against discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Mayor Eric Garcetti has repeatedly spoken out against racism and bigotry, yet he remains silent on the issue of Director Maggard. Furthermore, the mayor’s appointees to the Board of Airport Commissioners chose to review employment issues related to Director Maggard in a closed-session meeting on July 16. Somehow, they reviewed the unprecedented amount of litigation filed against him and decided there is “no confirmation of a pattern of practice of racial inequity discrimination or improper management.” They also said they were “not at liberty to discuss” how they reached this conclusion.
If nine lawsuits do not constitute a pattern, what does? It is long past time for someone in power to explain how Director Maggard continues to have the ability to abuse his position and foster a culture of intimidation and contempt. If LAWA, the Board of Airport Commissioners and the mayor cannot be forthcoming about their reasons for ignoring this clear pattern of discrimination, then we need an independent, transparent investigation. Our officers, who work hard every day to keep our airports safe, deserve nothing less.
Being a police officer in this country has never been under such scrutiny as our profession is now. Being a minority police officer has never been so complicated. The majority of our department are officers of color. We reflect and are part of the community we serve. At a time when our society is reckoning with issues of equality and racial justice, it is shameful that this pattern of discrimination and disrespect is allowed to continue at our airports. Change is long overdue, and we will not be silent until it is achieved.