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State troopers barred then welcomed to Everett Community College event

Washington State Patrol recruiters were told to stay away from an Everett Community College minority students job and career fair, KIRO Radio's Mike Lewis reports. (AP)
LISTEN: State troopers barred then welcomed to Everett Community College event

Washington State Patrol recruiters were told to stay away from an Everett Community College minority students job and career fair because the troopers were white — a refusal that was later rescinded, both the state patrol and school administrators confirmed.

More from reporter Mike Lewis

The recruiters ended up attending the Students of Color Career Conference 2017 on Thursday after school officials explained to Washington State Patrol administrators that a staffer was in error when she told the officers — one male, one female — that they wouldn’t be welcome at the event earmarked for minorities because the troopers, “self-identified as Caucasian.”

Everett Community College Vice President John Olson declined to provide details about the dust-up saying only that the misunderstanding had been fixed and that he considered the matter solved. Likewise the Washington State Patrol, which confirmed that officers initially had been asked to stay away, also declined to comment on the record.

The story first aired on the Dori Monson Show. During his show, Monson said he doesn’t believe the troopers would have been allowed to attend the job fair had KIRO Radio not investigated the tip from a listener.

“Everett Community College, they righted the wrong after we made the inquiry to the state patrol,” Monson said. “We made the inquiry to the state patrol, the state patrol called the college (and) confirmed that they’d been uninvited because the recruiters were white.”

Only then, Monson said, did the troopers get re-invited.

Later in the show, however, one of the event’s organizers called in to contradict the account from both college and state patrol officials. Carols Veliz, one of the organizers, said he thought it might have been a misunderstanding of, “someone’s opinion.”

“I wasn’t there. You weren’t there,” Veliz said to Monson. “We don’t know exactly what was said.”
He added that the event was a success and because there were many Caucasians in attendance, he doubted that anyone tried to bar state troopers because of their race.

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