Four San Jose police officers have been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate comments made in a private Facebook group for former and current San Jose officers.
The alleged racist and anti-Muslim comments came to light once screenshots of them were shared in an anonymous article online, reports CNN. The person who shared the screenshots claims to be “the partner of an active law enforcement officer in a San Francisco Bay Area police department.”
In the photos posted in the article, someone made derogatory comments about Muslim women and “changed their cover photo to a picture of a ‘Sharia Barbie’ doll with a black eye wearing a hijab,” according to the outlet. The group also reportedly contained an image that read, “Black lives really don’t matter.”
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia expressed his outrage with the posts and said that any officer involved could be fired. “I have previously responded with discipline up to termination after an investigation into off duty online activity that runs counter to our standards of conduct,” he said.
“While I have no control over what former employees post online, I can voice my outrage after hearing about these comments made online,” the police chief continued. “Any current employee involved with bigoted activity online will promptly be investigated and held accountable to the fullest extent in my power. We have no place for this.”
Paul Kelly, president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, said the union would not represent any of the officers accused of participating in the group. He also said the union would not offer any financial support to them and they will be expelled.
“The news that I read today about members of our union and former members of our union participating in an online ring of hate makes me sick,” he said. “I want to be crystal clear: There is no place in our police department or our union for racists or bigots, or for those that enable them by not speaking up.”