Fort Lauderdale's Chief of Police has been sacked after it was determined he had discriminated against white officers when deciding on their promotions on the grounds of their race and not of their skills for the job, it was reported.<
Larry Scirotto, who took over the Fort Lauderdale Police Department in August of 2021, was relieved of his position last week after a report found that the 48-year-old chief made hiring and promotion decisions with an illegal race-based approach.
Scirotto became Fort Lauderdale's first openly gay chief of police. He is of mixed race. He had been a former assistant chief in Pittsburgh,
A 12-page inquiry proved Scirotto had created a “divisive atmosphere.” He was even quoted as saying that “that wall is too white; I’m gonna change that,” according to CNN. Other uncorroborated versions Scirotto has always denied say he asked “Which one is blacker?” when considering officers for promotion.
“Overall, there is a very divisive atmosphere within the department based on the perception the chief is intentionally using race, gender, and sexual orientation as attributes necessary for promotions,” the report reads. “While the goal to diversify is an important and laudable goal it must be accomplished in a legally permissible manner.”
Scirotto said in an interview over this past weekend that he had promoted 15 people from August to November, of whom just six were ethnic or gender minorities, and insisted the report was “vague on the facts” pinned down on him. In a separate broadcast appearance, he insisted the non-white candidates “deserved to be promoted.”
“Those minority groups are now being treated as if they were less than deserving, and that’s not the case, and it never was,” Scirotto said. He added the candidates he had promoted ”excelled in every level of the organization,” he added.
“They deserved to be promoted, and by the way, they happened to be minority. It wasn’t because they were minority,” he went on.