Employees said the jail superintendent at the time, a white person, forced workers to "segregate" based on race and prevented them from doing their jobs. The settlement will mean between $75,000 and $250,000 for each officer to address reports of “discrimination, a hostile work environment and mental distress,” The Washington Post reported of the suit.
MatasCastillo said no one should have questioned the ability of the workers to do their job. "As a board, we are deeply sorry for the trauma you experienced and the ongoing harm this racist incident caused," she said. "We recognize this apology will never undo the anguish and distress you’ve gone through as a result."
MatasCastillo also named Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher directly in a call for the sheriff’s office that oversees the detention center to address such offenses as they occur:
Based on this commitment, today we must once again call out and condemn this racist act committed by the Sheriff’s Office. We called on Sheriff Fletcher, as an independently elected official, to address these offenses when they occurred in 2020. We are still waiting. Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office employees, like all Ramsey County employees, deserve to work in an organization that responds decisively and without hesitation when clear wrongs such as this are committed.
The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office must demonstrate accountability for the actions of May 29. The lack of any real apology from the Sheriff’s Office – and the fact that Steve Lydon remains, to this day, an appointed employee within the office – reflects poor leadership and perpetuates the systemic racism that allowed a decision such as this to occur. We renew our call on Sheriff Fletcher to take corrective action and all steps necessary to ensure professional, respectful and equitable service delivery moving forward.
As we call out this failure in leadership at the Sheriff’s Office, let us also be abundantly clear in our full support for the correctional officers and deputies who do outstanding work in service of this community on a daily basis. This incident should not reflect on you, nor should it diminish all the ways in which you treat our community with dignity and respect. Please know this county board stands by you and sincerely thanks you for your service.
In closing, we again express our apologies to Officers Sullivan, Salad, Ivory, Herrera, Hafoka, Gomez-Haustein, Dodds and Cox for the significant harm you’ve experienced. Ramsey County will continue to actively work to dismantle racism in our systems and policies as we strive to build an inclusive community in which all are truly valued and thrive.