13 Police officers in Philadelphia are out of a job after social media posts reveal hateful messages.
The Plainview Project, a third-party database of Facebook posts by former and active-duty police officers across the country, released info about the Philadelphia cops on June 1. Posts included in the report were memes and posts that read a range of hateful thoughts like, “Death to Islam,” “F these Muslim turd goat humpers,” and countless posts calling black people animals.
That said, it’s important to note that while some news sources are reporting that homophobic or anti-gay messages were a portion of the Facebook data, this writer can’t agree. After reading through several of the evidence displayed by the Plainview Project (which, again, you can find here), I could not find much evidence of homophobia beyond a single “don’t drop the soap” joke.
Despite that, the released data caused the Philadelphia Police Department to launch an investigation last month into the social media posts. 72 officers were then sent on desk duty as the investigation was underway. 69 of these officers would later receive some form of punishment, such as five-day suspensions. And eventually, 13 cops were sent on the process of being fired.
Richard Ross, the city’s police commissioner, said in a news conference on Thursday, that another four officers would receive 30-day suspensions before returning to service, and a range of harsh punishments have been dealt out.
“I continue to be very angered and disappointed by these posts, many of which in my view violate the basic tenants of human decency” Ross said at the press conference. “And I am saddened by the fact that there are even some who would attempt to justify such hate and vile behavior.”
But this isn’t the only city currently facing similar situations. The Plainview Project has released information and data about social media posts of cops from across the US. Project founder Emily Baker-White, a lawyer, has released such data in cities, towns, and areas like York, PA, Lake County, Florida, Denison, Texas, St. Louis, Misouri, Phoenix, Arizona, and Twin Falls, Idaho.
More than 5,000 posts and comments of violence and hate against women, black people, Muslims, Latinx people, and more were released. As such, plenty of police departments are currently scrambling to handle the situation.
“We will work tirelessly to make this situation better,” Ross said. “We know it will take a tremendous amount of effort.”