On Mar 31, San Francisco D.A. George Gascon announced that investigators found a new set of anti-gay and racist texts sent by the city’s law enforcement officers. The D.A. stated that five more officers are now involved in the scandal.
In 2015, 14 police officers were caught texting offensive messages while on duty between 2012 and 2015. Now, five more officers were found to have texted similar messages over the same period. Surprisingly, some of the messages were sent after the scandal.
Police Chief Greg Suhr was asked to suspend the five police officers. In response, the police department said that its investigators had uncovered the texts and the offenders were disciplined. Two of the officer reportedly left the department.
According to a SFPD statement, the five men were suspended and the case was deferred to the Police Commission, which is the entity that can discipline the officers and remove them from the department.
SFPD also said that the new texts were uncovered during a separate investigation into sexual assault allegations against one of the said police officers. The officer had already been charged for unlawfully accessing police databases.
The San Francisco Police Officers Assn (POA) said that the officers’ conduct was a disgrace for their uniform and profession. POA said it would lend full support to Chief Suhr to discipline the offenders.
POA noted that the last year’s scandal was not as isolated as it was initially thought. A representative for the group said that the new findings were ‘horrifying’ both on operational and moral levels.
The POA dreads a new investigation that now needs to be open to find how many more officers were involved in the scandal. Plus, the group noted that racism and homophobic behavior has tainted the quality of the administration of justice.
According to the department, the N-word was employed ‘profusely’ in the newly found texts and so were ‘derogatory’ terms aimed at gay people.
In December, the police officers that risked losing their jobs over the offending texting were cleared by a Superior court judge because the department took too long to discipline them. According to the court, police officials took more than a year to defer the case to a court, which is against the rules in California’s Peace Officer Bill of Rights.
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