Friday, September 21, 2012

Kaiser incident probed as hate crime

Kaiser has a very top-down culture, which does not foster good relationships between employees.

RIVERSIDE: Kaiser incident probed as hate crime
Press Enterprise
12 September 2012

Riverside police are expected to meet with Kaiser Permanente officials Thursday, Sept. 13, to discuss why a mannequin with black paint on its face and a racial slur written on its chest was left hanging in the health care provider’s Magnolia Avenue hospital.

Police opened an investigation this week after a hospital worker walked into the Magnolia Avenue police station on Monday afternoon, Sept. 10, and said he found the black-faced mannequin hanging near his work area on Friday, Sept. 7, said Sgt. David Amador, who is in charge of the investigation.

The worker brought photos of the mannequin, which had a racial slur and the word “hang” written across its chest. The mannequin was discovered in an area that is not open to the public.

Police were just getting into the investigation as of Wednesday and were exploring a range of possibilities for what might have prompted the incident, Amador said. “We are looking at it as a hate crime,” Amador said. “We’re looking at why it was placed there, who placed it there and for what purpose.”

KNBC Ch. 4 reported the incident on its 6 p.m. newscast on Tuesday, Sept. 11, speaking to workers at the hospital.

“You’re not sure what to think,” employee Tyree Hale, who is black, told the TV station.

Kaiser was pursuing a separate investigation into the incident. Peggy Hinz, Kaiser’s director of issues and brand management, promised a thorough inquiry.

“At Kaiser Permanente, we are deeply committed to respecting diversity, preventing discrimination and providing a work environment free of harassment,” Hinz wrote in an email. “We take the matter that has been brought to our attention extremely seriously. We are moving quickly to investigate the matter and will take appropriate action. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination in our workplace and will take all appropriate measures to address the full scope of this situation.”

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