04/01/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/01/2021 15:25
In 1974, Officers Frank Gray, Rufus Lewis, James Dukes, and Clarence Nathan - who collectively came to be known as the 'Fearless Four' - played a pivotal role in the advancement of many deserving black officers when they filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the Tampa Police Department for discrimination. When the EEOC investigation was completed in 1976, the City of Tampa was cited for numerous violations of discrimination. The findings were recognized by Mayor Bill Poe, who signed an agreement to rectify the problems.
Because the Fearless Four took a stand for the rights of others, the City implemented fairer practices and policies to ensure all minority officers, and employees citywide, would have have equal access to the same opportunities as their white counterparts. As the department implemented these new standards, black officers began to slowly see progress in hiring, training, promotions, specialty assignments, and leadership.
On Saturday, April 3, 2021, Mayor Jane Castor and Chief Brian Dugan will honor the long-lasting impact of the Fearless Four with the unveiling of the 'Fearless Four Historical Monument'. The monument will be on display on the first floor entrance to the Tampa Police Department. The ceremony will begin at 11:00 AM on the second floor lobby, followed by the Fearless Four unveiling their monument which will serve as a permanent testament to the change and equality their actions ensured for those in the City of Tampa and beyond.
Face coverings are required. To allow for social distancing, the ceremony will also be live-streamed at Facebook.com/TampaPD .
MEDIA NOTE: Due to the limited space on the first floor, media will be offered individualized access to interview the Fearless Four following the unveiling. Any responding media outlets are asked to be at TPD Headquarters no later than 10:30 AM for camera set up and sound check on the second floor.