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Crime

Police officers will face NO ACTION over string of homophobic and racist texts

Nick Duffy December 22, 2015
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A judge has ruled that no action should be taken against a number of police officers who sent a string of racist and homophobic posts.

A number of San Francisco police officers exchanged the deeply disturbing racist and homophobic text messages in 2012.

The texts were uncovered during a federal corruption in 2014 – with officers making a string of homophobic comments about “f*gs”. The officers also referred to African-American people as “monkeys” and encouraged people to kill “half-breeds”.

However, Superior Court judge Ernest Goldsmith ruled this week that no action can be taken, as police officials left it more than a year to raise the issue – beyond the statute of limitations.

However, Goldsmith ruled: “It is not in the public interest to let police misconduct charges languish.

“The public has a right to have accusations against police officers be promptly adjudicated.”

But attorneys for the police department contend that this is damaging and a deprivation of justice – as the case not proceed until a previous corruption trial was completed.

Police Chief Greg Suhr took action in April 2015, moving to fire eight of the officers involved and to discipline six others – but one of the officers, Officer Rain Daugherty, took the matter to court.

According to SFGate, other named officers who were involved in the text messages include Capt. Jason Fox, Sgt. Michael Wibunsin, Officer Sean Doherty, Officer Richard Ruiz and Officer Angel Lozano.

The state’s Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights states that the statute of limitations for police investigations is one year.

Sergeant Yulanda Williams, of ethnic minority policing group Officers for Justice, slammed the decision, telling SFGate: “For this judge to say he’s thinking of the interest of the public — is the public expected to go on with their business and pretend nothing ever happened?

“The citizens are still in a situation where they’re questioning whether or not they should embrace law enforcement or fear them. That’s wrong.
Police officers will face NO ACTION over string of homophobic and racist texts
“We need to stop sweeping things under the carpet and deal with it.”

Critics of the decision have pointed out that a statute of limitations of one year would almost never exist in routine criminal cases.

Related topics: San Francisco, US

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