The police departments of #Philadelphia and #StLouis are taking action following allegations that their officers posted hateful or racist content on social media.
Having officers who think that way with that kind of bias and level of power are a danger to the people that they are supposed to be protecting and serving. That’s why in Philly, 72 officers were taken off the streets and placed on administrative duty, and in St. Louis, 22 officers have been barred from bringing their cases to the attorney’s office, according to @CNN.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney, Kimberly M. Gardner, put the 22 officers on her office’s exclusion list this week. The office is currently not prosecuting cases where these officers serve as primary witnesses.
“When a police officer’s integrity is compromised in this manner, it compromises the entire criminal justice system and our overall ability to pursue justice,” Gardner said in a news release. “After careful examination of the underlying bias contained in those social media posts, we have concluded that this bias would likely influence an officer’s ability to perform his or her duties in an unbiased manner.”
Circuit attorney spokeswoman, Susan C. Ryan, said she does not know how many cases this will affect.
A watchdog group, The Plain View Project, came with the receipts by compiling the social media posts.
Earlier this month, Philadelphia police launched an investigation into a public database of social media posts by officers that included Confederate imagery as well as anti-Muslim sentiments, violent rhetoric, and racist comments.
As the investigation is underway, the officers have been taken off of street duty, but are still reporting to work. The department plans to review each post to see if the officers’ speech is constitutionally protected by the First Amendment.
“If the speech is determined to be protected, no further action will be taken,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross at a press conference. “An example would be an opinion on a matter of public concern that may be unpopular … but does not include threats of violence or pejorative language against any protected class.”
He added that the posts were “disturbing, disappointing and upsetting.” The department aims to provide an update regarding disciplinary action in the next few weeks.
We’ll keep you updated on this story, Roommates.
TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh