A lieutenant with the Albany Police Department is accused of making racist statements during a recent Community Police Academy training class.

According to Albany Proper, Nairobi Vives, the chairperson of the Albany Community Police Review Board, is making allegations that racist rhetoric was used during recent Albany Community Police Academy training sessions.

Ms. Vives wrote a letter to the Community Council last week alleging that Lieutenant Howard Schecter made racist and disparaging comments during recent training sessions.

The Community Police Academy allows citizens to attend weekly classes to learn how policing works, to dispel misconceptions between police officers and citizens and it also gives citizens opportunities to make officers aware of their concerns.

Lieutenant Howard Schecter is a 40 year veteran with the Albany Police Department and he recently conducted some of the training sessions. It was during these sessions that he allegedly made disparaging remarks about black and brown people.

Ms. Vives alleges that Lieutenant Schecter made disparaging comments about South End and Arbor Hill neighborhoods. He allegedly referred to victims of sexual assault as promiscuous and implied that black people wouldn’t get killed if they would follow lawful orders.

In her letter, Ms. Vives wrote, “Near the end of his presentation, the presenter started to remark on police reform and how in the current climate many are focused on officer-involved shootings. He then made the statement that ‘they’ only care about when a cop shoots someone but ‘they don’t care’ about the hundreds of other shootings when they are killing each other. I interjected and told him that the statement was not true and that the black community absolutely cares about all the lives that are lost to gun violence and work hard every day within our community to prevent all killings.“

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Members of the Community Police Review Board are asking that Lieutenant Howard be held accountable for his actions prior to his upcoming retirement.

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