RIOC Slammed Again with Formal Charges of Racism

RIOC Slammed Again with Formal Charges of Racism

Formal charges of racism, involving an incident last month, have been lodged against RIOC. This time, the complaint comes from Mexican Americans but joins a pending lawsuit of racism toward a white woman.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Charges of Racism and More

RIOC caused great pain towards my minor daughters and psychological damage,” Susana del Campo Perea wrote to the state agency on Friday.

“You created stress, fear of looking different, fear against police. You provoked doubts about being themselves freely without stress and fear of talking a different language other than English.”

The accusations spring from a confrontation earlier in August when a RIOC lifeguard allegedly confronted del Campo Perea in the Sportspark Pool. In that encounter, according to del Campo Perea, the lifeguard refused to speak with her in English. Worse yet, the lifeguard allegedly and in front of her two daughters told her she could not be their mother because of the difference in skin color.

RIOC has not responded to requests for their version of the incident.

PSD Chief Kevin Brown with RIOC Community Relations Director Jessica Cerrone at a Black History Month event in 2019. A complaint names Brown in charges of racism by RIOC.

Enter PSD Chief Kevin Brown and Friends…

Frustrated, del Campo Perea went to RIOC president/CEO Shelton J. Haynes’s office in Blackwell House but was denied a face to face meeting with him.

She then sat on the steps in front of Blackwell House, an open public space, but she was soon confronted by PSD Chief Kevin Brown and two other uniformed officers. Brown is an African American, much larger than del Campo Perea, yet he and the other officers surrounded her.

In a recording made surreptitiously by del Campo Perea, she shows obvious distress, but that’s disregarded by Brown. According del Campo Perea, Chief Brown responded to her request for a meeting with Haynes by accusing her of lying about the pool incident.

Since Community Relations Manager Erica Spencer-EL took control over RIOC communications in a power sharing agreement with Haynes, the state agency ignores requests for comment by local media. As a result, we don’t know if any investigation was made or report filed.

But the Charges of Racism Boiled

After waiting for nearly a month for an apology, del Campo Perea ran out of patience.

“You have been racist towards (my daughters) and my family. We won’t tolerate it,” she wrote.

“My complaint is now with NY State Human Rights Commission, and it is now at the desk of the General Mexican Consulate. My daughters are Mexicans and American Citizens,” she added.

These charges of racism join a lawsuit by former president/CEO Susan Rosenthal, accusing RIOC of racist motives in firing her.

Shelton Haynes
RIOC President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes

“Also blame is to put to the head of RIOC, Shelton Haynes,” del Campo Perea said, “for hiding behind his desk waiting foe this to be swept under the rug.”

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