More than a dozen Philadelphia police officers have been suspended for 30 days “with intent to dismiss” following a police investigation into racist or hateful social media posts.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr., who made the announcement Thursday at a press conference, said four added officers with less offensive posts only face the suspension.
“I continue to be very angry and disappointed by these posts, many of which in my view violate the basic tenets of human decency,” Ross said.
He refused to name the officers, but the Plain View Project, which has been researching offensive police postings since the summer of 2016, keeps a public database of their posts.
The Plain View Project is separate from the investigation Philadelphia police conducted last month when the department found that 328 active police officers posted offensive social media content.
As a result of the police investigation, 72 officers were placed on administrative duty following allegations they posted racist or hateful content online, according to CNN. Penalties for the posts ranged from a reprimand to a five-day suspension, Ross said.
Although most of the posts didn’t contain violent content, Ross admitted that some did. Others featured Confederate imagery, anti-Muslim beliefs or racist comments, Ross said during the press conference.
Ross said the department is looking into mandatory training and reviewing its social media policies.
“This takes us back,” he said.
John McNesby, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 5, said in statement the police investigation denied the officers their rights.
“We’re aware of the dismissals and disappointed that our officers will be terminated without due-process,” he said Thursday. “We are currently meeting with each officer to prepare an appropriate response to protect our members’ rights under the contract.”