NORTH PARK — A city worker caught on video removing a Black Lives Matter yard sign from a North Park home last year was suspended for 29 days.
The incident involving an on-duty Department of Water Management construction worker was detailed in a report released last week by the city’s Office of the Inspector General. The report does not identify the worker.
It happened Aug. 1 outside Dimitri Hepburn’s home near Bryn Mawr and Spaulding avenues in North Park. It was first reported by The Triibe.
Hepburn’s doorbell camera caught a city worker wearing a yellow shirt posting a “No Parking” sign on a nearby tree around noon that day. In the video, the worker approaches Hepburn’s home and yanks a Black Lives Matter sign from the resident’s yard.
The worker puts the sign facedown, hiding the words on it, and walks away.
Hepburn previously told Block Club the city worker’s behavior was an example that racism is unfortunately still “alive and kicking.” He filed a complaint with the city.
The Office of the Inspector General’s quarterly report describes the event.
“This conduct was captured on video and the construction laborer admitted to their conduct to OIG, noting that they did not have reason and were not authorized to inspect the area of the private property where the owners had placed the sign,” the report said.
The inspector general’s office recommended the worker face discipline “up to and including discharge, commensurate with the gravity of the violations, past disciplinary record and any other relevant considerations.”
The Water Department suspended the worker for 29 days, according to the report.
Since filing the initial complaint, Hepburn said he wasn’t contacted by the inspector general’s office and is surprised it took so long for the city to update the public on what happened in their investigation.
“If they think a 29-day suspension, if that’s what makes sense to them, then I guess that’s what it is,” Hepburn said. “I told the inspector general’s investigators when they first came out that I would have appreciated, if not a conversation with the guy, then an apology or something too. But I think it is good there is some sort of resolution, even if it was delayed.”
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