Racist E-mails Lead to Resignation of a Florida Police Chief

by  Robert Steinback  on October 13, 2010

An embattled South Florida police chief — already serving a 30-day unpaid suspension for using city computers to share racist, tasteless Internet jokes with his command staff, including one E-mail suggesting President Obama should have been shot by his own honor guard — resigned late Tuesday.

Richard PerezA city investigation determined that Wilton Manors Police Chief Richard E. Perez distributed 86 messages with “inappropriate content” using the city’s E-mail system during a four-month period this spring and summer. According to a South Florida Times report published on its website yesterday, Perez was given a resign-or-be-fired ultimatum from City Manager Joseph Gallegos after an internal probe detected that Perez also violated the city’s leave policy. Later reports confirmed that Perez had resigned.

Perez’s resignation comes in the wake of reporting by veteran South Florida Times reporter Elgin Jones. Jones’ investigative work uncovering racist and offensive E-mails sent by city officials has been causing a stir in Wilton Manors, which abuts Fort Lauderdale, for more than two years. The weekly publication is the region’s most influential African-American community newspaper.

One E-mail from Perez’ account, sent on May 27 to his second in command, Capt. Dorris “Dee” Seibert, contained a short audio file in which a man with a pronounced African-American dialect delivers a cheerful greeting. “Good mornin’ ma’am! And iddn’t it a lovely morning?” to which a white-sounding woman replies, “Up yours, nigger!”

Another, sent by Perez on July 21 – entitled, “Urban schools are finally starting to teach practical math that these kids can use in real-world situations!” – abounded with racial stereotypes demeaning blacks and Hispanics: “Lajames has an AK-47 with a 200-round clip. He usually missed 6 of every 10 shots and he uses 13 rounds per drive-by shootin. How many mofos can Lajames ice on a drive-by before he gotta reload? … Leroy has 2 ounces of cocaine. If he sells an 8 ball to Antonio for $320 and 2 grams to Juan for $85 per gram, what be the street value of the rest of his shit? … Dwayne pimps 3 ho’s. If the price is $85 per trick, how many tricks per day must each ho turn to support Dwayne’s $800 per day Crack habit?” Six other “test questions” were included.

Obama was a frequent target of the jokes and insults traded among Perez and his subordinates. One E-mail to Perez from Sgt. Peter Bigelsen read, “I sat, as did millions of other Americans, and watched as the government under went a peaceful transition of power a year ago.  At first, I felt a swell of pride and patriotism while Barack Obama took his oath of office. However, all that pride quickly vanished as I later watched 21 Marines, in full dress uniform with rifles, fire a 21-gun salute to the President. It was then that I realized how far America’s military had deteriorated. Every damn one of them missed the bastard.”

Another e-mail Perez forward to his command staff on July 23 said, “A little boy said to his mother, ‘Mommy, how come I’m black and you’re white.’ His mother replied, ‘Don’t even go there, Barack! From what I can remember about that party, you’re lucky you don’t bark!’”

All of the available samples of Perez’s E-mails had a singular political slant – against liberals in general and Obama specifically.  They ranged from the mildly funny – “Q: What was the most positive result of the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program? A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road.” (E-mail of April 21; joke attributed to David Letterman) –  to mean-spirited: An E-mail with the subject line, “Stupid is as stupid does,” contained a photograph purportedly showing Barack and Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony saluting with their left hands over their hearts.  (Stupid, in that case, might better apply to anyone who believed the doctored photograph was genuine: Snopes.com and other urban-legend sites busted the hoax by turning up the unaltered original photo, and others taken at the same time, showing the Obamas saluting correctly.)

Perez also distributed at least one solicitation for political support: An E-mail sent out July 22 appealed for support for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit members of Congress from exempting themselves from laws they pass.

Perez’s auto-signed E-mails included a disclaimer of which Perez apparently failed to take note: “NOTE:  Florida has a very broad public records law. Most written communications to or from local officials regarding City business are public records and are available to the public and media upon requests.  Your e-mail communications may therefore be subject to public disclosure.”

Gallegos on Sept. 17 suspended Perez for 30 days without pay and ordered the chief to undergo racial and cultural sensitivity training. According to Gallegos’ investigative report, Perez sent 86 E-mails with “clearly derogatory, culturally insensitive and … racially inappropriate content” during a 16-week period from April through August. Gallegos wrote that Perez apologized for his conduct and admitted he had “no excuses” for it.

On Sept. 23, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist removed Perez from his seat on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.

Perez was contrite in a late-September press conference in which he discussed his suspension – although he insisted that he viewed, collected and forwarded examples of racial insensitivity and political satire in popular media only for use in a training class on stereotyping, ethics and diversity he teaches at Broward College. He said he forwarded some jokes and insults to Seibert to see if she felt it was appropriate for the class.  When Perez acknowledged his inappropriate behavior during the press conference, he referred to using city computers to receive and forward the material – although, when asked if his behavior would have been acceptable had he used his personal computer, Perez said, “No.”

At that time, Perez asked for a second chance. “Some e-mails that I received from friends, and [I] sent them back to some friends, were political satire. And I inappropriately used the city’s computer system, the Internet. I really should know better.  It was not racially motivated. And I let my citizens down in my city, and that’s why I wanted to apologize.”

At the time, Perez anticipated returning to duty. “I am deeply apologetic. I am going to do everything I can when I get back to work to have learned from this experience, to make myself a better person. … All I’m asking for is a second chance to go back and show the community that I did make some mistakes. I should not have done this.”

Perez, who previously served 24 years with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, earned $115,544 as Wilton Manors’ police chief.  About 13 percent of Wilton Manors’ population of roughly 13,000 is black. The city is also heavily Democratic, and has a reputation of being gay-friendly.

Two years earlier, Jones had exposed another Wilton Manors employee, then-Assistant Community Services Director Ana Barnes, using city computers to mail out  racially derogatory material. Gallegos demoted Barnes, among other reasons, for circulating a document on the city’s E-mail system that contained “clearly derogatory, culturally insensitive and racially charged content” – almost the exact wording he would later use with Perez.

Perez also is under investigation for allegations of perjured testimony in an unrelated 2007 civil case between a former Fort Lauderdale police officer and the local Fraternal Order of Police union.


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#1 R&B Song 1983:  “Ain’t Nobody,” Rufus & Chaka Khan

Born:  Victoria Spivey, 1906; Nellie Lutcher, 1915; Mickey “Guitar” Baker (Mickey & Sylvia), 1925; Marv Johnson, 1938; Tito Jackson, 1953; Ginuwine (Elgin Baylor Lumpkin), 1975


1906   Singer/pianist Victoria Spivey, one of he great ’20s blues interpreters, was born today. Best known for her “Black Snake Blues” in 1926, Victoria performed up until her death in 1976.

1954   The Five Keys began a week of performances at the Apollo Theater. They were followed by the Clovers.

1955   Johnny “Guitar” Watson made his R&B cart debut with “Those Lonely, Lonely Nights,” reaching #10. He would go on to have twenty charters through 1995, including 1977′s “A Real Mother For You,” his biggest solo hit (#5 R&B and #41 pop). His biggest pop hit was as a member of the Shields, a doo-wop group from Los Angeles who reached #12 with the immortal “You Cheated” in 1958.

1976   More than three months after Tina Turner escaped the years of abuse from husband/producer Ike, Ike & Tina Turner announced that their nineteen-year professional association was over.

1983   Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s “Say, Say, Say,” charted,  reaching #1 pop for six weeks.

1991   B.B. King performed in Seville, Spain, at Guitar Legends, a concert series that was part of Spain’s forthcoming Expo 92.

1994   James Ingram performed in Washington, DC, at the Celebrity Tribute for Medicine, honoring twenty-eight extraordinary Black Americans in the fields of medicine and science. In his early days. James worked for TV Music Publishing, earning $0 for each demo he sang. James, wo started his performance career as a member of a band called Revelation Funk, ironically became one of the great balladeers of the ’80s.

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#1 R&B Song 1967:  “Soul Man,” Sam & Dave


Born:  Karyn White, 1965; Usher (Usher Raymond), 1978


1957   The Rays’ timeless tune “Silhouettes” charted en route to #3 in the nation.

1960   The Vibrations, B.B. King, Joe Hinton, and Harvey Fuqua (of the Moonglows) performed at Chicago’s Regal Theater.

1967   Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” was released and quickly rose to #2.

1967   The Jimi Hendrix Experience peaked at #65 with “Purple Haze,” their debut American release. Though Jimi would have seven pop chart singles in his career, the psychedelic blues guitarist would never chart R&B. In fact he had more hits in England (eleven) than the U.S.


1967   Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Percy Sledge, Arthur Conley, and Booker T. & the M.G.’s brought the Soul Explosion Tour to England, performing at Finsbury Park in Astoria, London.

1972   Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes charted with their first Top Five hit, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” reaching #1 R&B and #3 pop.

1990   John Lee Hooker won Contemporary Blues Album of the Year for The Healer, Best Contemporary Male Blues Artist, and Blues Vocalist of the Year at the W.C. Handy Blues Awards at the National Blues Awards in Memphis.

1992   Seventy-five-year-old John Lee Hooker, still performing and touring, appeared at NBC-TV’s The Tonight Show.

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#1 R&B Song 1958:  “It’s All in the Game,” Tommy Edwards

Born:  Shirley Caesar, 1938; Dorothy Moore, 1947


1951   John Lee Hooker scored on the R&B charts with his 78 “I’m in the Mood,” his sixth hit. In the next few years, it would sell more than one million copies, as would his first single, “Boogie Chillen.’ ‘

1956   The Heartbeats’ standard, “A Thousand Miles Away” (#5 R&B, #53 pop), was released. The group’s lead singer, James Sheppard, wrote the standard while lounging in his bathtub.

1956   The Chips’ “Rubber Biscuit” ($100), the Cleftones’ “String Around My Heart” ($40), and the Cadillacs’ “The Girl I Love” ($100) were all issued.

1957   Specialty Records, upon hearing of Little Richard’s plan to leave rock ‘n’ roll, scheduled a quick eight-song recording session before the rocker could enter a theological seminary.

1963   Brook Benton followed the Beatles on Sunday Night at the London Palladium, his British TV debut. In essence, The Beatles opened for him.

1977   Orlons member Shirley Brickley was shot to death by an intruder in her home in Philadelphia. The Orlons were one of the hottest dance music groups of the early ’60s, They formed as a group in high school in the late 1950s, and were known  as an all-girl quintet called Audrey and the Teenettes, before they became the Orlons.  Shirley was a member through all nine of their Top 100 hits. She was only thirty-two.

Shirley Brickley, far right.

Rosetta Hightower (lead, far left), Shirley Brickely (center), Marlena Davis (right), and Stephen Caldwell, when the group was known as Zip and the Zippers.

The OrlonsThe Orlons

The OrlonsThe Orlons

The OrlonsThe Orlons

1979   Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” reached #1 pop and R&B. It was his first solo #1 in seven years and reached #3 in England and #2 in Germany.

1979   The Sugar Hill Gang charted R&B with “Rapper’s Delight,” reaching #4 and #36 pop. They became the first pop success on the rap scene with what turned out to be their biggest hit.

1990   Fifty-two years after his death, Robert Johnson finally made the charts. A meticulously and lovingly compiled collection of Jonson’s recordings titled The Complete Recordings started a thirty-one week run and earned platinum status despite only reaching #80 pop.

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The movement to free Jamie and Gladys Scott (two sisters accused of committing a robbery that is alleged to have netted them $11) has been building in momentum for quite sometime.

For those not familiar with the case, the following is a synopsis:

On Christmas Eve, December 24, 1993, Jamie and Gladys Scott were accused of luring two men down a road in Forest, Mississippi, where they were robbed by three teenagers who attacked the men, with one of the teen males striking both men in the head with a shotgun and took their wallets, according to court documents.

The three teenagers–Howard Patrick, Christopher Patrick, and Gregory Patrick–who were accused as accomplices with the Scott sisters, were 14 through 18 years of age at the time. The accused Scott sisters, Jamie and Gladys, were age 19 and 22, at the time.

The sisters, along with the three brothers, were indicted for the crime.

The court transcript gives an account of what happened when the case went to trial.

To really destroy the young women’s case, they had a useless piece of refuse for a lawyer.

Firnist Alexander called no witnesses on behalf of the sisters; he did not allow the sisters to testify in their defense. Just two years later, Alexander would be disbarred for “lack of diligence” in cases where he misrepresented clients.

Five witnesses testified for the state.

In October 1994, the Scott sisters were convicted of robbery with the use of a deadly weapon and have been in prison for the past 17 years.

During the robbery, no one suffered serious bodily injury, but, under Mississippi state law, life in prison is the maximum prison sentence (with three years the minimum) for armed robbery.

Robbery and Armed Robbery

In Mississippi, robbery is defined as “feloniously [taking] the personal property of another, in his presence or from his person and against his will, by violence to his person or by putting such person in fear of some immediate injury to his person . . . .” Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-73. This is “simple robbery,” or it is sometimes referred to as “strong arm robbery.”

In order to convict you of robbery in Mississippi, the State must prove:

  1. That you had a “felonious intent;”
  2. that you used force or putting in fear as a means of effectuating a theft; and
  3. that you took and carried away someone else’s property from the victim’s person or in the victim’s presence.


Moore v. State, 942 So.2d 251 (Miss. 2006). If you are convicted of simple robbery (without a weapon), you can receive up to 15 years in the state penitentiary. Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-75.

Armed Robbery has basically the same elements as simple robbery, with the added element of “by the exhibition of a deadly weapon.” Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-79. With this simple addition, a jury can sentence you to life in prison, rather than just 15 years. And here is a legal concept that most people have a hard time understanding: Participation in an armed robbery is sufficient to make one a principal in the crime regardless of whether that participant was the person holding the weapon. Harrington v. State, 859 So.2d 1054 (Miss. 2003).

The three Patrick brothers involved in the robbery, implicated the Scott sisters. All three of the young men had priors. Threats and coercions forced the men to finger the Scott sisters, because as the 14-year-old Howard Patrick stated:  “They said if I didn’t participate with them, they would send me to Parchman and make me out a female.”

By plea bargaining, he was able to avoid a life sentence.

The teens were sentenced to eight years in prison each, and they were released after serving just two years, with Howard Patrick serving 10 months in jail.

The Scott sisters, who protested that neither of them were nowhere near the robbery when it was committed, were each given double life sentences–sentenced to two consecutive life terms in state prison. Jamie is now 38 and seriously ill. Both of her kidneys have failed. Gladys is 36.

These two sisters had no priors before arrest, they were of young age at the time of conviction, they were both young mothers with under age children, they had no long criminal record; no “three strikes” third time or more convictions staring them in the face. Neither sister was offered a plea bargain.

That they both received double life sentences is a prime example of cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.  That they are now a part of Mississippi’s draconian convict lease system of (in)justice is all the more barbaric and inhumane.

In 1998 one of the sentenced men signed an affidavit stating that the Scott sisters were not involved with the crime.

The question must also be asked:  Why was the prosecutor so gung-ho on sending the two sisters to prison, but, allowed the teens who committed the attack, off with so little time? Why did the court (judge, jury and the prosecutor) have it in for these two sisters?

These two young women have served sentences that would constitute half of their lives. They have not been forgotten. One of their most ardent supporters, Ms. Nancy Lockhart, a legal analyst who has worked over the years became familiar with the case of the Scott sisters, has started a campaign to free them.

The sisters have exhausted their legal appeals, and will not be considered by the state parole board until 2014, until after they have served 20 years in prison.

A pardon from Governor Haley Barbour is being asked of by the supporters of Jamie and Gladys Scott.

It is not just the humane thing to.

It is the most right thing to do.


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#1 R&B Song 1959:  “Sea of Love,” Phil Phillips with the Twilights


1931   The Mills Brothers recorded “Tiger Rag,” their debut single and the and the first of five #1 hits.

1956   An incredible all-group show featuring the Flamingos, the Channels, the Velours, the Solitaires, the Dells, and the Pearls was held at the Apollo Theater.

1957   While on a tour of Australia, Little Richard renounced rock ‘n’ roll and is said to have embraced God. He later revealed that when an engine on a plane he was flying on caught fire, he vowed that if he landed safely he would change his ways.

1962   The Soul Stirrers were the featured act at an all-gospel show at New York’s Apollo Theater.

1966   The Jimi Hendrix Experience was formed in London.

1974   Gladys Knight & the pips charted with “I Feel a Son In My Heart,” written and produced by Tony Camillo. THe song reached #1 R&B and #21 pop, earning nother gold disc for the Atlanta quartet.

1994   Seal performed at Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT.

1996   Rapper/songwriter/producer Puff Daddy(Sean “Puffy” Combs) made his R&B chart debut with “No Time,” reaching #9 and #18 pop. (The record was billed “Lil’ Kim featuring Puff Daddy”). Combs would later form the successful Bad Boy record label and go on to have forty-two R&B hits through 2004.

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Quick Facts

World Food Day is celebrated on October 16 each year.

Local names

Name Language
World Food Day English
Día Mundial de la Alimentación Spanish

World Food Day 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

World Food Day 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011
List of dates for other years listed below.

World Food Day is annually held on October 16 to commemorate the founding of the United Nations’ (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Each year has a different theme.

World Food Day helps raise people’s awareness of problems in food supply and distribution. ©iStockphoto.com/fajean

What do people do?

Many events are organized on and around World Food Day. On and around October 16, a wide-ranging program is organized at the FAO’s headquarters in Rome, Italy. The program is aimed at leaders of political and non-political organizations at all levels and at increasing press attention on topical issues around food supply. Other UN organizations and universities around the world organize symposia, conferences, workshops and presentations of particular issues around food production, distribution and security. In addition, special initiatives, such as the “International Year of Rice” in 2004 and the “International Year of the Potato” in 2008 were launched.

Across the globe, many different events are organized to raise awareness of problems in food supply and distribution and to raise money to support projects to aid in the cultivation of food plants and the distribution of food. An example of this is TeleFood, which funds micro projects to help small-scale farmers at the grassroots level. The projects aim to help farmers be more productive and improve both local communities’ access to food and farmers’ cash income. Fundraising events include sponsored sports events, charity auctions, concerts, and marches.

Public life

World Food Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.


The FAO aims to raise levels of nutrition across the globe, improve agricultural productivity at all levels, enhance the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. It also provides assistance to countries changing their agricultural policy, to aid regions out of famine situations, to help implement appropriate technology and facilitate a neutral environment to discuss issues around food production.

At the FAO’s 20th session in Rome, Italy, in November 1979 the conference called for the observance of World Food Day on October 16, 1981, and on the same date each year. The UN General Assembly ratified this decision on December 5, 1980, and urged governments and international, national and local organizations to contribute to observing World Food Day. World Food Day has been held each year since 1981.


The FAO’s symbol consists of a circle. Inside the circle is a graphical image of an ear of wheat and the letters F, A and O. The FAO’s motto “fiat panis” (let there be bread) appears under the ear of wheat. The first version of this design was a badge distributed to delegates at an FAO conference in Copenhagen in 1946. The current version was registered with the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property on July 1, 1964, and has been used widely since about 1977.

A World Food Day official symbol consists of three abstract human figures harvesting, distributing and sharing food. The figures are depicted in a bluish-grey color and the food in an orange shade. This draws attention to the food. The whole image aims to bring attention to the necessity and joy of growing, harvesting and distributing food.


World Food Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Fri Oct 16 1981 World Food Day United Nation day  
Sat Oct 16 1982 World Food Day United Nation day  
Sun Oct 16 1983 World Food Day United Nation day  
Tue Oct 16 1984 World Food Day United Nation day  
Wed Oct 16 1985 World Food Day United Nation day  
Thu Oct 16 1986 World Food Day United Nation day  
Fri Oct 16 1987 World Food Day United Nation day  
Sun Oct 16 1988 World Food Day United Nation day  
Mon Oct 16 1989 World Food Day United Nation day  
Tue Oct 16 1990 World Food Day United Nation day  
Wed Oct 16 1991 World Food Day United Nation day  
Fri Oct 16 1992 World Food Day United Nation day  
Sat Oct 16 1993 World Food Day United Nation day  
Sun Oct 16 1994 World Food Day United Nation day  
Mon Oct 16 1995 World Food Day United Nation day  
Wed Oct 16 1996 World Food Day United Nation day  
Thu Oct 16 1997 World Food Day United Nation day  
Fri Oct 16 1998 World Food Day United Nation day  
Sat Oct 16 1999 World Food Day United Nation day  
Mon Oct 16 2000 World Food Day United Nation day  
Tue Oct 16 2001 World Food Day United Nation day  
Wed Oct 16 2002 World Food Day United Nation day  
Thu Oct 16 2003 World Food Day United Nation day  
Sat Oct 16 2004 World Food Day United Nation day  
Sun Oct 16 2005 World Food Day United Nation day  
Mon Oct 16 2006 World Food Day United Nation day  
Tue Oct 16 2007 World Food Day United Nation day  
Thu Oct 16 2008 World Food Day United Nation day  
Fri Oct 16 2009 World Food Day United Nation day  
Sat Oct 16 2010 World Food Day United Nation day  
Sun Oct 16 2011 World Food Day United Nation day  
Tue Oct 16 2012 World Food Day United Nation day  
Wed Oct 16 2013 World Food Day United Nation day  
Thu Oct 16 2014 World Food Day United Nation day  
Fri Oct 16 2015 World Food Day United Nation day  





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