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TPD dedicating monument to officers who fought against racial discrimination

“We wouldn’t accept the status quo,” said Ret. Officer James Dukes.

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Police Department will unveil a new monument to honor four trailblazing retired officers who sued the department for racial discrimination in 1974.

RELATED: ‘Fearless Four’ talk overcoming discrimination in Tampa Police Department

The “Fearless Four,” made up of Ret. Lt. Clarence Nathan, Ret. Sgt. Rufus Lewis, Ret. Cpl. Frank Gray Jr., and Ret. Officer James Dukes took their complaints against the department to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which eventually led to a conciliatory agreement with the city of Tampa in 1976.

According to TPD, the agreement made sure minority officers and city employees had the same access and opportunities as their white counterparts.

"Black officers were not given the opportunity for promotions or any advanced training,” said Gray.

The retired officers said at one point in the department’s history, Black officers could not even arrest white people.

“We wouldn’t accept the status quo,” James Dukes told 10 Tampa Bay in 2020.

Mayor Jane Castor and Chief Brian Dugan will be on-hand to honor the Fearless Four. The ceremony and unveiling will take place at 11 a.m. on April 3 at police headquarters. Masks and social distancing will be required.

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