On Monday, the city of Palo Alto will officially honor retired police chief Lynne Johnson for 34 years of service, the last five in the department's top spot.
The resolution of appreciation, signed by Mayor Peter Drekmeier, praises Johnson for a series of accomplishments and traits, including " outstanding public service" and " sound judgment."
Johnson stepped down in December amid a furor over public comments that struck many as an endorsement of racial profiling. Following an October community meeting about a series of violent muggings — several involving black suspects — she told reporters her officers would be stopping African Americans on the street " to find out who they are."
She initially defended her words, saying she meant that her officers would stop people who matched the suspects' specific descriptions and acted suspiciously. She later issued a full apology, though it didn't stop hundreds of protesters from marching to City Hall on Nov. 9 to call for an end to racial profiling.
Johnson acknowledged the racial pro-filing allegations played a role in her decision to retire. For Palo Alto's first female police chief, it was an ignominious end to an otherwise distinguished career.
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