The San Francisco Police Department is under fire for racism among its officers. Amid allegations of racism among its police officers, investigators found racist text messages on the personal cell phones of two officers during a criminal probe. The officers, who were both Chinese Americans, both have since resigned.
The officers’ cell phones had slurs against minorities and colleagues who were perceived to be gay. The texts also ridicule blacks in Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed black man was shot and killed. They ridiculed the shooting in 2014 by police of a mentally ill man carrying a stun gun. They also sent each other pictures with racist captions. One was a picture of smoke rising above San Francisco with the words “Must be Korean BBQ”. The police officers involved are currently being investigated for suspected overtime abuse and unauthorized access of driving records.
As a result, San Francisco’s Police Chief has ordered all officers to finish an anti-harassment class within the next month. This scandal is the second texting scandal since 2014. There are approximately 2,100 SFPD officers. About half of them are white, which is roughly the same as the white population in San Francisco. About a third of San Francisco’s residents are Asian, but Asians only make up 16 percent of the city’s police officers. Nine percent of SFPD officers are black, but blacks only account for six percent of the population.