In San Francisco, 14 police officers are currently under investigation after racist and homophobic text messages have come to light. Seven officers and former Sargent Ian Furminger are currently suspended while the commission decides if they should be fired. Furminger has been convicted of public corruption charges.
The text messages involve content of lynching African-Americans and burning crosses, along with extremely racist banter between the officers. Texts also include homophobic messages, which is especially surprising given that San Francisco is a city famous for its acceptance of the LGBT community.
An attorney for one of the officers claims they cannot be fired because the statute of limitations has passed. The attorney also claims the department knew about the text messages in 2012, but did not open an investigation until recently. The police chief disagrees with this claim.
Lawyers for the officers also claim the texts do not represent their views, and should be considered just a way of blowing off steam within their intensely stressful jobs.
Sargent Ian Furminger
The texts were discovered during an investigation against Sargent Ian Furminger, who sent many of the texts. Furminger was undergoing a federal corruption case. Convicted of stealing money and property from suspects, he was sentenced to 41 months in prison.
Racism and Homophobia Cannot Be Tolerated in a Police Department
Due to the hateful nature of the texts, the police department found it necessary to investigate cases involving officers dating back 10 years, to ensure no bias or unfair treatment was imposed on racial minorities or LBGT people. Currently, 1,000 cases are set to be reviewed.