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NAACP Stands With Fired Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Larry Scirotto

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Former Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Larry Scirotto is speaking out.

"If promoting diversity and inclusion in the FLPD is the hill I die on, I will sleep well tonight," he said at a news conference with the Broward NAACP.

He said he did the right thing as chief when he promoted officers.

"Every one of those candidates that were promoted were extremely qualified.  Those that were not selected were not nearly as qualified," he said.

Attorney Tonja Haddad Coleman is representing four people who filed discrimination complaints – three are white and one is Hispanic.

She takes issue with Scirotto's statement. She said a white female lieutenant who was being considered for captain was better qualified then the others.

"They have less time on the job, less time as sergeants, scored lower on the test (tied for dead last)…." she relayed in a statement.

As for the three males skipped over for promotions to lieutenant, she said, "Each had more time on the job, more time as sergeants, and more time in training and in other divisions."

"I did what my boss, city staff, the executive leaders of this city directed me to do, that was to build a diverse, inclusive police department," Scirotto said.

He was fired after an investigation where several officers alleged that he made promotions based on race, gender and sexual orientation. He calls the investigation flawed.

"Of those statements in this opinion piece there was no witness under oath, there's been no transcript of testimony, the interviews were not recorded.  The opinion is nothing more than assumptions," he said.

The NAACP is disappointed with Scirotto's firing and wonders what will happen down the road.

"We don't need another insider, one of those current officers or folk who work for the city of Fort Lauderdale to further the agenda of the good old boys club," said Broward NAACP President Marsha Ellison.

Scirotto said he'd like his job back.

"I love this city, I love this police department. There is nothing more I would rather do than be the chief tomorrow," he said.

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