Phoenix sends only non-white police to Washington

Downtown Phoenix, Arizona

They’re supposed to be the cream of the crop, going to Washington to protect the newly elected American president and represent Phoenix, Arizona.

But the police association said the Phoenix Police Department used race to determine who’s going – and that’s not all CBS 5 News, a local TV channel has learned.

One of the officers who’s set to pack up and head to Washington when we elect a new president is on the Brady List – a compilation of officers whose honesty and integrity is in question.

“I couldn’t believe it, because we sent officers back four years ago and that was done on seniority,” said William Buividas with the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, or PLEA.

The Phoenix Police Department hand-picked a group of 40 or so officers to go, but the way they did so has PLEA up in arms.

“In this case the department decided to use ethnic and gender as a basis for selection,” Buividas said.

He showed CBS 5 News a group of officers from one division who were chosen. Buividas said several officers were passed up despite their seniority.

“The two alternates have seniority, are senior to every person who’s going on the list,” Buividas said.

He also showed CBS 5 News a string of emails with the department in which they admitted to using race, gender and ethnicity in their selection process, saying it was the expressed desire of the police chief.

“Why somebody with very little seniority gets to go but somebody with 20, 25 years on gets passed over because they’re the wrong color,” Buividas said.

But that’s not all. In this sample we found one officer, Diana Pineda, is on the Brady List. The Brady List is a group of officers within each department whose integrity has been called into question. CBS 5 News paid a visit to Pineda and asked her why she thought she was chosen to go to the capital.

“Oh, I have no idea,” Pineda told us.

Pineda is on the list stemming from an incident back in 2007. We asked her what happened.

“You know what? I can’t really talk right now, but why don’t you guys come back,” she said.

But when we returned, no one answered the door.

PLEA has filed a grievance but so far no changes have been made. We reached out to police for an interview, but they declined saying because they’re in the grievance process it would be inappropriate for them to comment.