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San Fran police to get training after homophobic texts

Bobby Rae May 1, 2016

Officers in San Francisco will undergo anti-harassment training, after it was discovered some had been sending homophobic and racist texts.

San Francisco Police Chief, Greg Suhr, announced on Friday that all officers on the city’s force would undergo anti-harassment training after he confirmed that some officers had been sending discriminatory messages about suspects and other police personnel.

The announcement comes only a few days after authorities confirmed the authenticity of an older series of messages released by a city lawyer.

The messages show police officers insulting others who they believe to gay, as well as attacking black and latino suspects.

One picture message of a fire in the city had officers guessing its cause. One described it as a “Korean BBQ”, while another said “I heard it was a slave ship”.

Authorities investigating sexual-assault allegations against a former officer said they found the text messages on two officers’ personal phones.

The police chief has said he is taking steps to combat bias in the department, while Ed Lee, the city’s first Chinese-American mayor, emailed every officer in the force on Thursday urging them to report colleagues who act inappropriately.

Business Insider reports that Suhr was involved in a scandal over an alleged culture of racial bias and brutality in the department in 2014. He previously stated that the text messages aren’t proof that homophobic or racist attitudes are deeply rooted in the force of 2,100 officers.

Mr Suhr said that some officers had been left feeling betrayed, adding that “the vast majority of police officers are shaken”.

“The expectations [of professional conduct] has never been higher, so when officers do something like this, the disappointment can’t be greater,” he said.

More: Greg Suhr, police, San Francisco, US

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