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San Jose Cop Suspended After Threatening Protesters of Police Brutality on Twitter

"If anyone feels they can't breathe or their lives matter," Officer Phillip White tweeted, "I'll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my gun."

by VICE News
Dec 16 2014, 9:15pm

Photo by Hank Mitchell

VICE News is closely watching policing in America. Check out the Officer Involved blog here.

A San Jose police officer who threatened protesters of police killings on Twitter has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation of his conduct, according to a spokesperson for his department.

On Saturday, Officer Phillip White tweeted, "Threaten me or my family and I will use my God given and law appointed right and duty to kill you."

He hashtagged the message #CopsLivesMatter — a mockery of the popular slogan among protesters, "black lives matter."

"By the way if anyone feels they can't breathe or their lives matter I'll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my gun," he said in another tweet.

The threatening tweets landed the officer in trouble with his superiors, who said that they are taking the matter very seriously.

"It is extremely important for the community to know the comments made on Officer White's private social media account do not reflect the thoughts or feelings of the men and women here at the San Jose Police Department," Chief Larry Esquivel said in a statement. "Nor do we condone this type of behavior."

White was working on gang prevention and also coached basketball at a local college. Officials there said on Monday that he was no longer affiliated to the school and that they would not be represented by "expressions of intolerance and bigotry on the campus, on social media or on the internet."

The officer has terminated his Twitter account.

Photo via Flickr

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