Four San Jose Police Department officers are placed on administrative leave after they allegedly posted racist and anti-Muslim messages in a private Facebook group.
On Saturday, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo called on the SJPD to investigate racist comments made by four retired and current officers on social media, which an unidentified, law enforcement officer’s partner exposed on Medium.
The hateful comments stem from a private group called 10-7ODSJ, or in police terminology, off duty, NPR reported.
Allegedly, one of the active officers privately posted about how “Black lives don’t really matter” and expressed his agreement with pulling a Muslim woman’s hijab over her head.
The blog post also alludes to an active officer assigned to the training unit who posed a meme that “racially profiles and stereotypes all Muslims as being terrorists” in 2015.
“I demand and expect a full investigation, and further expect that racist, anti-Muslim or menacing comments expressed by any current SJPD Officer will be met with termination,” Liccardo said.
While it is unsure the comments are verified, President Paul Kelly of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association is saying “There is no place in our police department or our union for racists or bigots or those that enable them by not speaking up.”
“We have no place for this,” police chief Eddie Garcia said in a written statement. “While I have no control over what former employees post online, I can voice my outrage after hearing about these comments made online. Any current employee involved with bigoted activity online will promptly be investigated and held accountable to the fullest extent in my power.
The police department has not released the names of the officers, a spokesperson said.
In 2016, a SJPD police officer was fired for a racially insensitive post.
The mayor said that the officer’s termination was reversed because an arbitrator got involved and the officer was reinstated.
Since then, Liccardo has announced a nine-point police reform aimed to improve police accountability.
Though these officers were exposed by an insider, in 2016, the Plain View Project started documenting the racist, violent and sexist posts active police officers were making. Their efforts helped expose police officers in four cities including in Philadelphia, where 11 officers resigned before they were fired, according to BillyPenn.
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