PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia police confirm tens of officers have been taken off the streets and placed on desk duty while authorities investigate hundreds of officers’ alleged racist and violent social media posts. Police confirmed Thursday the original number of 10 officers taken off the streets has grown substantially since the announcement into the investigation earlier this month.
This is just the beginning of what could be a very long investigation, police said.
There are thousands of Facebook comments and shared posts now compiled in a database called the Plain View Project.
The alleged posts show officers wanting to ram people with Obama bumper stickers and others calling those in the Black Lives Matter movement “racist pieces of [expletive].”
“These public postings by active duty police officers are appalling. Blatantly violent and racist comments like this indicate a level of impunity and indifference to public accountability,” said Councilmember Helen Gym. “This isn’t just about correcting individual acts of misconduct—it is about demanding the accountability that our communities deserve.”
There’s also sexism, bigotry, threats of violence and calls for the executions of protesters which were all allegedly written by sworn officers.
Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby said in a statement, “The FOP will continue to represent members in this overly-broad social-media investigation. We’ve been informed that those officers under investigation will be interviewed within days of being notified and will be returned to duty shortly thereafter. The FOP and our members utilize social media on a regular basis to bring people together and support one another. It is sad that the investigators with the ‘social justice’ group chose to ignore all the good work done regularly by our officers. During this difficult climate in which police officers are constantly under attack, the FOP will continue to support you.”
In a statement, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the police department is taking the following steps:
— Anti-racist/anti-bias training for all police personnel.
— Additional roll call training on the social media, off-duty and race and discrimination policies.
— Internal auditing process to monitor social.