Memphis Police Department: Two Officers Suspended For Sending Racist Snapchat

Patricia Ramirez

Two officers employed by the Memphis Police Department have been suspended in the wake of the horrific Dallas police shootings that took the life of five police officers. The reason? The pair of Memphis police officers posted what the department's director referred to as a "disgusting" and racist Snapchat image.

The image in question featured an unseen white person aiming a handgun at the emoji of a running African-American male, possibly even a child. In a week where racial tensions and police relations have reached a critical breaking point, the imagery was especially offensive.

Reportedly, the photo that resulted in the suspension of two Memphis Police Department officers was taken the very night of the Dallas police shootings. The Dallas shootings, which were reportedly perpetuated by a lone African American shooter who was targeting police, were carried out in response to two recent police killings of African-American men that were caught on tape and went viral.

According to the Interim Memphis Police Department Director, the Snapchat image that resulted in the two suspensions, was "disgusting" and intolerable.

"The image is disgusting and will not be tolerated. We are certainly responsible for the decisions we make, and we are held to a higher standard."

"...employees must avoid any conduct which could compromise the integrity of the Department. This includes conduct related to materials posted on personal websites, social media, twitter, Facebook... etc."
"The fact that it could have been a Memphis police officer just blew me away, and again we deal with these things."

"My job is not shot off with my first emotion. My job is to find out the facts, determine if there is violation and hold officer accountable."

The Dallas sniping attack took place as officers responded to a massive Black Lives Matter protest in the city, which had been organized in response to the latest police killings of African-American suspects. Over the last week, dozens of anti-police and Black Lives Matter protests have been organized and carried out in the United States. Most have been non-violent, but some have resulted in violence, destruction and even deaths.

Both Memphis Police Department officers suspended over the racist Snapchat image will be off of the schedule without pay until their respective department hearings are held.

[Image by Rena Schild/Shutterstock]