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SF Police Chief Orders Anti-Harassment Training As More Biased Texts Emerge 

Friday, Apr 29 2016
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click to enlarge MIKE KOOZMIN
  • Mike Koozmin
All San Francisco police officers will be required to undergo anti-harassment training as part of a new effort to address bias in the department, according to the Associated Press. Chief Greg Suhr is expected to announce the training and other measures today in the wake of the second racist text messaging scandal involving city cops in the past two years.

"The vast majority of police officers are shaken," Suhr told the AP. "The expectations have never been higher, so when officers do something like this, the disappointment can't be greater.”

Suhr provided the AP with additional transcripts of offensive texts exchanged between former Officer Jason Lai and retired Lt. Curtis Liu. Earlier this week, CNN published racist and bigoted texts from Lai’s phone that it obtained from Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who is representing a defendant whom Lai investigated.

In addition to Lai and Liu, two unidentified officers were also involved in the most recent text exchanges. One of those officers already resigned and the Police Commission is considering firing the fourth, the AP reported. Lai resigned earlier this month and Liu retired in 2015.

Much like the texts revealed last year and earlier this week, the latest ones obtained by the AP target minorities with racial slurs. They also contain hateful language about gay officers, and in one exchange the messages seemingly mock the police shooting death of Alex Nieto in 2014.

Per the AP:

They also exchanged photographs with racist captions.

One photo depicts a white man playfully spraying a young black child with a garden hose. The caption calls the young boy a racial slur.

There's a photo of smoke rising above San Francisco and guesses are exchanged about the origins of the fire.

"Must be Korean BBQ," quips one.

"I heard was a slave ship!!" quips another.

Lai had faced sexual assault charges last year but prosecutors dropped the case due to insufficient evidence. Liu, however, was charged this week with a felony count of lying to investigators handling Lai’s case.

Tony Brass, an attorney for Liu, told the AP on Thursday that his client has never “displayed any racist behavior” and was on the receiving end of Lai’s texts. Lai’s attorney did not respond to the AP’s requests for comment.

Also on Thursday, Mayor Ed Lee sent an email to all 2,100 police officers pleading for them to report colleagues who display biased behavior.

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