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7 San Francisco officers suspended over racist texts

April 3, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Seven San Francisco police officers accused of sending racist and homophobic text messages have been suspended, and the police chief has recommended that they be fired.

Chief Greg Suhr announced Friday that he has asked a police oversight committee to approve firing the officers. Six others face disciplinary actions that include reassignment to positions that don’t have contact with the public. Another officer tied to the investigation already has resigned.

The text messages “are of such despicable thinking that those responsible clearly fall below the minimum standards required to be a police officer,” Suhr said in a statement.

But the officers, who were not identified, violated department policy to varying degrees, Suhr said.

Two officers who sent inflammatory texts were reassigned and will have their cases considered by the police commission, which can hand down penalties up to termination.

The remaining four officers did not send text messages that included “hate speech,” said Suhr, who will decide how to punish them. He can suspend an officer without pay for up to 10 days.

Authorities say the texts targeting blacks, Mexicans, Filipinos and gay men were sent between 2011 and 2012. They were discovered by federal authorities investigating a former police sergeant, who was convicted of corruption and sentenced to more than three years in prison.

Meanwhile, District Attorney George Gascon said his office will review all cases going back 10 years that were linked to the officers either by writing a report, submitting evidence or testifying in court.

City leaders have raised concern that any prejudice by the officers could have led to unfair treatment, particularly in cases involving black defendants.

The San Francisco Police Officers Association earlier issued a statement saying the actions were not emblematic of individuals it represents.

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Information from: KGO-TV.

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