Several dozen Philadelphia cops were taken off the streets and moved to desk duty after an investigation unearthed racist and offensive Facebook post made by the officers in question.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports advocates published a database that cataloged the posts in late May. Although all 72 officers haven’t been disciplined yet, Philadelphia Police Commissioner, Richard Ross expects the officers will face internal consequences and several to be fired.
“Of all the things we have to contend with in this police department, of all the issues that we have to deal with, this is one we certainly could have done without,” Ross said during the press conference Tuesday (June. 18).
Ross’ comments were made after a violent Fathers Day weekend that resulted in 28 people shot and five people dying.
With 3,100 posts tracing back to the Philadelphia cops, the investigation is being conducted by the department’s Internal Affairs division and Ballard Spahr law firm. The racist posts were brought to light thanks to the Plain View Project. Founded in 2017 by a team of Philadelphia attorneys, they created a research database of social media posts made by officers in the community that displays violence, racism, and bigotry.
While the investigation will be extensive as it is going through a list of stages, Ross adds that “We are trying to deal with some of the worst postings first.”
Each post is being analyzed closely as they have to consider if they are protected by the First Amendment. If protected, there will be no further actions. If not, the next steps will be discussed.
Philadelphia Police Departments social media policy states that their employees “are prohibited from using ethnic slurs, profanity, personal insults; material that is harassing, defamatory, fraudulent, or discriminatory.”
It has not been announced how long the investigation will take.