Cozy Bailey Prince William NAACP

The Rev. Cozy Bailey 

Prince William County officials cannot substantiate a claim that a senior police officer used a racial slur to refer to the head of the local NAACP several years ago.

The county’s Human Resources Department completed its investigation Monday into the claim made by the Rev. Cozy Bailey. Bailey made the accusation during the May 24 meeting of the Racial and Social Justice Commission’s policing subcommittee.

Bailey said several years ago he was invited by then-Police Chief Barry Barnard to address a leadership seminar. Bailey said he entered a room with about 40 people and officers were chatting, but, “All that chatter ceased when the chief introduced me as the president of the NAACP.”

“And as I walked out – even though the chief invited me to stay, it was too cold in there for me – what I heard was, ‘Glad that n-word is done,’” Bailey said. 

The county determined the incident would have occurred during the chief's annual meeting in September 2017.  The department interviewed 43 people during the investigation, including Bailey and several majors, captains, lieutenants and sergeants. Thirty-nine active and six retired police officials were interviewed, according to a copy of the report obtained by InsideNoVa. 

“After a thorough review of the witnesses’ interviews, the Investigator determined there is insufficient evidence to support a finding of an unnamed PWCPD [police department] member making a racial slur,” the report says.

The report says Bailey has had “countless meetings” with other parts of the county government and never encountered a similar situation, noting, “It is undisputed that this was an alleged isolated incident.”

The report says all current and former police officials “adamantly denied” making the statement or hearing anyone making it. It says the officials said they would have taken immediate action if they heard someone make the statement.

The report also found slight inconsistencies with Bailey’s story. He said two other African-Americans were in the room when he entered, but the investigator identified seven. Officials also said they were quiet to “show respect for the guest speaker” rather than the “cold reception” that Bailey described.

Bailey told the investigator he did not report the incident at the time because “I do not think it would have done any good to bring up the comment.” He also indicated he was not seeking any recourse from bringing up the allegation in 2021.

Racial commission hears update on slur allegation against police, argues
Prince William investigating complaint that police official used racial slur


Nolan Stout covers Prince William County. Reach him at or @TheNolanStout on Facebook and Twitter.

(7) comments

Tee Muttenfudge

Will the PWC taxypayers be compensated by Mr. Bailey for causing this time and money spent on an investigation? at the end of the day, when you represent the NAACP you're going to have people who disagree with your position, that doesn't mean they are racist. When you advocate for only certain groups, and not everyone, you risk the chance of alienating some people, who may give you the "cold shoulder" which appears to be what occurred here. This guy is a clown for making such accusations without any details or witnesses. Shame on this type of behavior, the NAACP should be calling out this nonsense behavior- perhaps they would gain more respect from whites if they were able to discourage or call out this kind of witch hunt. PWC PD has more important things to do, like getting enough officers back on patrol. I'm hearing some squads are working with only a handful of officers when they should have 13 or 14. Get your priorities straight PWC!

Daniel Taber

Bottom line is that he is fabricating the whole thing and and attempting to sow seeds of discontent and racial divide. SHAME ON HIM!

Donald Quella

Journalism? Nothing could be worse than the evening "news" on the local television channels. I seldom watch television but last night wanted to see what the weather would be today. Weather forecast was reported after 7 consecutive commercials 2 consecutive features mentioning "racism", another 5 consecutive commercials, a feature about deep frying Thanksgiving turkeys safely, and another 6 consecutive commercials.

James Young

Perhaps he misheard "race hustler"?

Tom Fitzpatrick

Well, if we want to identify lies, let's start with this one:

"He also indicated he was not seeking any recourse from bringing up the allegation in 2021."

He made the false charge to cause an uproar, and he did it four years later to make it difficult if not impossible to investigate.

He is daring anyone to utter one word against him or anything he says or does or wants to do. And, it seems that he has been pretty successful.

I wonder whose house will be visited by a police investigator, today?

Mike Hunt

Sad thing is demographics of the Potomac District will keep the hapless Baileys in charge.

Janet Smith

[thumbdown] to more of this so-called "journalism". Bad enough the media are biased. Now the media publish unsubstantiated stories as factual, causing many thousands of tax dollars spent determining what actually occurred.

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