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The Philly Police Department May Actually Fire Some Racist Cops​

If the department proceeds with that plan, it will be the most concrete step taken to date to punish those officers.

by Morgan Baskin
Jul 18 2019, 4:48pm

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Weeks after hundreds of police officers’ racist, homophobic, and violent Facebook posts were uncovered, the Philadelphia Police Department will begin firing a number of the officers involved, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

If the department proceeds with that plan, it will be the most concrete step taken to date to punish those officers. Their posts –– one of which included a call to urinate on Iraqis –– were published in early June by The Plain View Project, an advocacy group founded by a Philadelphia-based lawyer.

Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner Richard Ross announced in mid-June that the department would take 72 officers off street duty, the largest number of officers placed on desk duty simultaneously in recent history. But at the time, the department had no public plans to terminate anyone.

A public information officer for the department directed VICE News to the Philadelphia mayor’s office. A spokesperson for the mayor directed VICE News to email the city’s press office, which did not immediately respond.

The police department will now begin suspending 13 officers, with the intent to dismiss them, beginning Friday, according to the Inquirer. It’s not immediately clear who the officers are or what exactly they posted.

READ: How police are dealing with officers spewing hate online

Those 13 people are a mere fraction of the Philadelphia-based officers who were implicated in the report: The Plain View Project found 500 Philadelphia officers who posted offensive material, 330 of whom were still on the force when its database launched.

The Plain View Project’s database of offensive Facebook posts includes material from police officers in eight cities, including Dallas, St. Louis, and Phoenix. Users can search the database by officers’ jurisdiction, name, badge number, salary, and rank.

What the officers wrote

Screenshots of the Philadelphia police officers’ posts, captured between 2012 and 2017, include a number of racist attacks on immigrants and black people. In the posts, many officers routinely refer to Democrats and people of color as “animals.”

One post shows an officer posing between two mannequins wearing lingerie at a clothing store. “I finally found some hot girls that know when to shit the f$&@ up…..,” he wrote.

Another officer shared a meme of Colin Kaepernick taking a knee, with the caption “share if you think the serviceman should punch him in the throat.”

Yet another post denigrated the Black Lives Matter movement. “The entire country is sick of your shit,” an image shared by one officer read. “Sick of the lawlessness, sick of the riots … the only thing you’ve managed to accomplish in all of this is to live up to the ghetto stereotypes.”

Since the Plain View Project’s launch, police departments implicated have struggled with how to appropriately respond. Departments in Phoenix and St. Louis also moved some officers to desk duty last month.

Cover image: Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross speaks with members of the media during a news conference in Philadelphia, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)