The Philadelphia Police Department is joining other law enforcement agencies nationwide in reviewing hundreds of police officers’ alleged racist and violent social media posts. Authorities say 10 officers have been placed on desk duty after the initial review, CBS Philadelphia reports.
Hundreds of Philadelphia Police officers, even some high-ranking lieutenants and sergeants, are taking heat over the posts on Facebook. “What we have been told and read is both frustrating and disappointing,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.
The comments were collected by researchers with the Plain View Project, which spent two years looking at the personal Facebook accounts of police from Arizona to Florida. In 2016, Philly-based attorneys began compiling Facebook posts from current and former officers in departments across the country.
Meanwhile, Dallas police are also reviewing officers’ statements on social media. More than 1,000 public posts from people identified as current and former Dallas officers were flagged by researchers with the Plain View Project.
The Dallas Police Department is working with the project’s leader and going over each post to see if department policy was violated, a spokeswoman told The Associated Press.
Ekram Haque, interim executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Dallas/Fort Worth chapter, condemned some of the posts as Islamophobic and racist.
The Dallas Police Department should denounce the posts and assure city residents “of all faiths and ethnicities that they will receive professional and unbiased service from their police officers,” Haque said in a statement.
Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata said some posts may merely be dark humor or have been taken out of context. But he said the department should act if something is “a shock to the conscience.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, the Dallas Police Department said it is “thoroughly investigating the names and posts” listed by the Plain View Project “to determine if the officers violated the Department’s Social Media Policy, or any other departmental policy.” It said it will make the findings public when the investigation is complete.
“We take these matters seriously and we want to ensure the community that we will not tolerate racism, bigotry or hatred of any kind in our organization,” Dallas Police said.