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San Francisco Police

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The San Francisco Police Department is investigating a series of racist and homophobic email and text exchanges between four officers and an ex-sergeant after they were revealed in federal court documents Friday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The U.S. attorney’s office filed a motion asking a judge to deny bail to former Sgt. Ian Furminger, who was convicted in February of corruption charges and sentenced to 40 months in prison. The motion also details dozens of racist and homophobic texts and emails exchanged with four unnamed officers, which prompted an internal investigation, the report notes.

In one email, a police officer suggested it was legal to kill a black man, referring to him as an animal.

A police spokesman tells the Chronicle the four officers are under investigation for “extreme bias, which has no place in the Police Department.”

The Chronicle reports:

“Furminger actively promotes the fantasy that he is a person of character, pointing to awards that he has received as a police officer,” prosecutors wrote. “In doing so, he simply disregards the conduct for which he was convicted. … He also fails to advise the court that he is a virulent racist and homophobe.”…

On May 10, 2012, Furminger wrote to another officer, according to the documents, “I hate to tell you this but my wife friend (sic) is over with their kids and her husband is black! If (sic) is an attorney but should I be worried?” The officer wrote back: “Get ur pocket gun. Keep it available in case the monkey returns to his roots. Its (sic) not against the law to put an animal down.” To which Furminger responded, “Well said!” according to the filing, brought to light in a story posted by KQED News.

The report says dozens of other texts contain repeated uses of “racial and homophobic epithets.”

In response to a text about a black officer getting a promotion, Furminger wrote, “F— n—.” He also repeatedly calls another officer a “fag,” according to the documents.“Although these sort of overtly racist views sadly still are expressed in some communities,” they wrote, “it is shocking and appalling to find a police officer in San Francisco who would give voice to them.”

The four officers in question were reassigned, according to police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza. An investigation continues.



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