- Nov 2005
Police Union Responds To Outing Of Officers' Bigoted Social Media Posts By Offering To Erase Officers' Online PresencesAn investigation called the "Plain View Project" has uncovered a truly disturbing amount of bigoted, violent social media posts by police officers located all over the United States. The entire database of posts is located here. Anyone wanting to see what their public servants truly think about the people they serve can click through and be horrified.
It would be horrifying enough if officers just kept their thoughts to themselves and let those thoughts guide their actions. But these are public posts able to be viewed by anyone and these officers apparently had no qualms about displaying the content of their character. This is just a small sampling:
“Just another savage that needs to be exterminated,” wrote Booker Smith Jr., a Dallas police sergeant, about a homicide at a Dollar General store. “Execute all involved,” he wrote separately about a group of teens who were accused of killing a 6-year-old. (One defendant pleaded guilty to aiding in the kidnapping. The alleged shooter and another defendant’s trials are scheduled for later this year.)Lovely. That's the mindset of far too many cops. The people they interact with daily are viewed as subhuman garbage only worthy of a beating or a bullet. The good news is that since the publication of this database, the hammer is starting to fall.
Reuben Carver III, a Phoenix officer, proclaimed in a stand-alone post, “Its a good day for a choke hold.”
And in St. Louis, Officer Thomas Mabrey shared a false news report that distorted an incident in which a woman police officer was shot responding to a call from a Moroccan man in Lebanon, Ohio. “F these muslem turd goat humpers,” he wrote, one of numerous anti-Muslim posts.
A whopping 21 Dallas police officers are under investigation for “racist or violent” Facebook posts, which were uncovered by the Plainview Project. Four others have been placed on administrative leave, the Dallas police chief announced Friday.Things have gone even further in Philadelphia, where officers are actually losing their jobs over their Facebook posts.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross announced Thursday that 13 officers will be terminated over violent or discriminatory Facebook posts.....
The announcement comes after an internal review of a database detailing thousands of social media posts made by police, some of which contained homophobic comments, anti-Muslim slurs or calls to violence.
These are all rational responses to the public outing of law enforcement officers as not-so-closeted bigots and homophobes. Then there are the clearly irrational responses, emanating almost exclusively from police unions.
In Philadelphia, the Fraternal Order of Police has expressed its "disappointment" that the PD would actually punish officers for their hate-filled social media posts. Of course, unions like this also express their disappointment when cops are punished for literally any act, including unjustifiable homicide.
But the prize for most idiotic response (so far!) goes to the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association. PLEA doesn't seem to believe the bigoted posts by police officers are problematic. No, the real issue here -- according to PLEA -- is that the posts were seen by outside eyes. PLEA doesn't want better officers. It only wants less accountable officers.
After dozens of Phoenix police officers were caught posting racist memes and praising violence on Facebook, Phoenix police union president Michael London said the union plans on purchasing a service that will "scrub" police officers' information from the Internet.That's the solution. Just pay and make it all go away. The union head is so secure in his delusion he actually claimed this wasn't about making stuff vanish, but rather to "protect" officers from people attacking them online. Yep, it's the bigoted cops who are the real victims here.
"The Facebook investigation is still going on," London said Thursday in a video shared on the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association's Facebook page. "We had our monthly board meeting this past Tuesday, and Franklin Marino has contacted a service that will scrub your name from the internet. It's more of a security and privacy type thing. There's some more information about it on the members-only Facebook."
"We think right now with the numbers we have, it would cost you about $3 a month, but we're still trying to contact the provider of this and see if we can work out a deal," London said.
Speech has consequences. The police union is trying to exempt Phoenix police officers from this rule. It won't work. The internet is forever. But it will give Phoenix residents even more reasons to distrust their public servants.
Why should the reaction to these internet situations be any different than the experience we already see with the "blue wall"?
While I personally think most police officers are typically good, the existence of the "blue wall" to white wash and ignore such problems is repugnant and should not be ignored.