Seven San Francisco police officers accused of sending racist and homophobic text messages have been suspended, and the police chief is recommending that they be fired.
An eighth officer resigned of his own volition.
Chief Greg Suhr announced in a statement Friday that he has asked a police oversight committee to approve firing the officers. He says six others will face disciplinary actions that include reassignment to positions that don't have contact with the public. Another officer has resigned.
The texts targeting blacks, Mexicans, Filipinos and gay men were sent between 2011 and 2012.
The San Francisco Chronicle had access to the court filing and published some of the texts sent to and by former city police Sgt. Ian Furminger. In one exchange, the Chronicle reported, Furminger wrote about the black husband of one of his wife’s friends coming over to his home.
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“Get ur pocket gun. Keep it available in case the monkey returns to his roots. Its (sic) not against the law to put an animal down,” the unnamed officer responded.
“Well said!” Furminger replied. “You may have to kill the half-breeds too,’’ the other officer then wrote, adding: “Don’t worry. Their (sic) an abomination of nature anyway.”
Suhr called the texts "despicable" and said those who sent them "clearly fall below the minimum standards required to be a police officer."
“There is no place in the San Francisco Police Department — and shouldn’t be in any police department — for a dishonest cop,” Suhr said, as quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle. “There is also no place in the SFPD for any officer capable of the thinking expressed in these hateful text messages.”
The texts were discovered by federal authorities investigating a former sergeant who was convicted of corruption and sentenced to prison.
Meanwhile, District Attorney George Gascon said his office will review all cases going back 10 years that were linked to the officers either by writing a report, submitting evidence or testifying in court.
City leaders have raised concern that any prejudice by the officers could have led to unfair treatment, particularly in cases involving black defendants.
The San Francisco Police Officers Association earlier issued a statement saying the actions were not emblematic of individuals it represents.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.