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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hooray: More Racist, Homophobic Texts Between SFPD Cops Unearthed

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2016 at 4:21 PM

SFPD Chief Greg Suhr has even more racist cops to deal with. - SF EXAMINER/FILE PHOTO
  • SF Examiner/File photo
  • SFPD Chief Greg Suhr has even more racist cops to deal with.

You may recall the choice language used by some San Francisco police officers when exchanging text messages — you know, the ones where cops agreed that "all niggers should fucking hang" and "White power" were things to say. ("Ask my 6 year old what he thinks of Obama" was a good one, too; we imagine there's more than one Donald Trump supporter currently keeping the "peace" in the city.)

At least 14 current and former police officers were found to have swapped racist and homophobic text messages with each other, some of which disparaged fellow police officers. Turns out we can add a few more to that list: At least five more San Francisco police officers traded bigoted texts, the San Francisco Examiner reported today.

District Attorney George Gascon — the former police chief, currently being pilloried by the city's police union, the Police Officers Association, for his investigations into bias in the police force — says the texts were uncovered while police and prosecutors were investigating the alleged sexual assault committed by Officer Jason Lai, the Chronicle reported.

Police Chief Greg Suhr promised swift action, but we'll see what he can do. Aside from the ex-cops found guilty on federal corruption charges, all of the original 14 Archie Bunkers are still on the force.

The texts were discovered by police investigators looking into the allegations that Lai had raped a woman during a drunken encounter in her Sunset District home, police said in a release late Thursday.

At least four officers swapped "reprehensible racial and homophobic remarks," including Lai. Lai has since been suspended and charged with misdemeanors — but for using confidential records improperly, not for sexual assault.

Another cop, ex-Lt. Curtis Liu, is being investigated for allegedly warning Lai about the rape investigation and then lying about it to superiors. Liu supposedly also received and sent some of the texts.

And an additional three more officers supposedly received bigoted texts from Lai but did not respond, police said. 

Police put out a press release on Thursday stating that two officers, including Liu, who retired, had been "separated" from the force following the investigation. Two others, including Lai, face discipline of up to termination.

The three others who only received the texts but not respond were investigated but won't face any discipline.

“The message from the top has been clear,” Suhr told the Chronicle. “This level of intolerance will not be tolerated.”

As for some of the initial 14 who are still police officers: a Superior Court judge ruled that Suhr and the police department's Internal Affairs unit waited too long to take action. That case may be appealed.
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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Bio:
Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.

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