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Crime

Police officers investigated for homophobic and racist texts

Joseph McCormick April 1, 2016

Police officers in the city of San Francisco have been found to have sent a number of homophobic and racist text messages.

As one group officers was being investigated by prosecutors for similar offences, the city’s district attorney has said another group was found to have done the same.

The messages included slurs used to describe gay, lesbian and transgender people, as well as black and Asian people.

The San Francisco Police Department is under federal investigation following complaints that officers had regularly used racial slurs.

The New York Times reports that the department has also been accused, alongside many other US police departments of using “unnecessary deadly force and brutality”.

The city’s district attorney George Gascón earlier this week said that the text messages were possibly a sign that the department has a problem with racism and homophobia.

He said the officers in question had sent the offensive texts even while their colleagues were being investigated for similar offences.

“This indicates some significant and deeper problems within the department,” said Mr. Gascón, a former San Francisco police chief.

“This conduct is clearly a danger to the administration of justice and makes the work of San Francisco police more difficult.”

One of the major issues surrounding the investigaiton was that hundreds of criminal cases would need to be reviewed for signs of bias.

Mr Gascon’s office has already announced that it is looking into those cases.

The text messages were turned over by the department last October, linked to a sexual assault case involving an officer.

Chief Suhr said his department had a zero tolerance approach to such messages.

Of the new case, Chief Suhr said out of seven officers, four had been suspended, and three others would not be punished, as they had not responded inappropriately.

Two of the four who were suspended have left the department, said Suhr, and the other two faced disciplinary action.

“Certainly to have officers like this among the fine men and women in the department is disconcerting, but we will root them out,” Chief Suhr told the New York Times.

More: Homophobia, police, police department, racism, San Francisco, US

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