The San Francisco Police Department is under scrutiny after at least seven of its officers were discovered to have been involved in a text messaging scandal.
According to Yahoo! News, seven San Francisco police officers have been linked to a scandal over racist and homophobic text messages which reportedly were discovered during an FBI investigation of corruption involving a former San Francisco police sergeant.
Greg Suhr, the police chief, said Friday that the texts, sent by officers in 2011 and 2012, “are of such despicable thinking that those responsible clearly fall below the minimum standards required to be a police officer,” according to the New York Times.
While at least seven of the San Francisco police officers are said to be under investigation, reports state that as many as 14 officers may have received the messages which read “White Power,” and also included other comments about homosexuals, Mexicans and Filipinos. According to CBS San Francisco, two officers have already resigned while eight more have been suspended with recommendation of termination.
“There is also no place in the SFPD for any officer capable of the thinking expressed in these hateful text messages,” Suhr said in a statement. “The officers responsible for the reprehensible texts should be separated from the SFPD as soon as practical. The fine, right-minded men and women of the SFPD that are of the impeccable character required of a Guardian (police officer) expect no less.”
After news broke about the officers involved in the San Francisco Police Department texting scandal, both the city’s district attorney and public defender’s offices decided to begin investigations into cases involving the officers dating back 10 years “to ensure that the officers did not act out of animus toward racial minorities or gays,” according to the New York Times.
Jeff Adachi, San Francisco’s public defender, reportedly stated that there were at least “1,000 cases that needed to be reviewed.”
“The characterization of these hateful statements as innocent banter is dead wrong,” said Adachi on Friday. “This casual dehumanization leads to real-life suffering and injustice. It foments a toxic environment in which citizens’ fear and distrust the police, brutality reigns, and good officers are less effective.”
The investigation into the San Francisco police officers showed that some of the officers had been a part of the department for as long as 23 years, and several had worked in predominantly minority neighborhoods.
“I’ve been sick to my stomach and I think many of the other officers in the department that realize, they’re saying that if this looks like it looks, then I’ll seek termination,” Suhr said.
Stay with the Inquisitr as more information of the San Francisco Police Department texting scandal becomes available.
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