Officers’ slur-filled texts? San Francisco investigating police racism, will review 3000 cases

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Updated: May 10, 2015
Officers' slur-filled texts? San Francisco investigating police racism, will review 3000 cases

San Francisco arrests under review after officers’ slur-filled texts revealed.

A major investigation has been launched into cases involving a crew of San Francisco police officers who texted racist, sexist and homophobic slurs to one another while on the job.

DA George Gascon said the probe, which has identified at least 14 officers involved in sending racist and homophobic texts, will be expanded to investigate whether the entire police department is permeated by a culture of bias, reports the Los Angeles Times (sub. req.).

He said three retired judges have been added to a task force he created to investigate and that 3,000 cases so far, over a period of 10 years, have been identified that may have been affected by bias. In nearly half, defendants were arrested but not prosecuted.

The investigation was sparked when a U.S. attorney’s office motion filed in March opposing bail for a police officer convicted in a corruption case listed texts.

Citing the disproportionate number of African-Americans arrested and prosecuted in San Francisco, public defender Jeff Adachi told the newspaper he is hoping that scrutiny will extend beyond simply reviewing documents and interview victims of discriminatory conduct by police.

“This is a systemic problem we have in San Francisco,” he said, adding: “This is not an isolated case of 14 officers.”