WATCH: Washington State Mayor Faces Backlash for Allegedly Forcing Police Officer Named ‘Jose’ to Go By ‘Joseph’

October 2018 photo of shows Tonasket Police Chief Darin Odegaard (right) with Police Officer Jose Perez (left) inside the Tonasket City Hall with Mayor Dennis Brown (center) looking on. (Tonasket Police Department)
October 2018 photo of shows Tonasket Police Chief Darin Odegaard (right) with Police Officer Jose Perez (left) inside the Tonasket City Hall with Mayor Dennis Brown (center) looking on. (Tonasket Police Department)

The mayor of a small Washington state city told a police officer named “Jose” to use the name “Joseph” in interactions with the public to avoid a name the mayor deemed “too Hispanic,” according to an allegation made at a Tuesday City Council meeting.

A video of the Tonasket, Washington, City Council meeting published by the Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle shows former Officer Jose Perez telling council members that Mayor Dennis Brown had previously said to him, “I changed your name from ‘Jose’ to ‘Joseph,’ because ‘Jose’ sounds too stereotypical … It sounds too Hispanic.”

Brown told the Spokesman-Review on Thursday that the allegations were not true: “I asked him what he would prefer to be called. He didn’t say anything at the time,” the publication reports.

In the video of the meeting, Brown offers several explanations, saying that Perez “goes by both” names and that Joseph is “just (a) translation.”

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SOURCE: Joel Shannon, USA TODAY