SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — “Burns down the Walgreens and kill the bums,” one text message reads.
“I hate that beaner,” another says, “but I think the nig is worse.”
“Indian people are disgusting.”
Obtained by CNN, these and other racist and homophobic were all text messages allegedly sent by a San Francisco police officer revealed in the center of an ongoing scandal in the department. The report states these are just a few of the dozen texts obtained which were sent and received by Officer Jason Lai, who resigned his post at the department earlier this month, according to a spokesman.
Dan Nobles, Lai’s attorney, said the texts were “not reflective of who he is” and that “there is no evidence he carried out any of those sentiments as an officer.” Nobles added the six-year-veteran of the force was “well-liked and well-loved on his beat.”
Nobles said the texts were seized from his client’s personal cellphone and had been exchanged between some of his closest friends on the force as well as people he had befriended on his police beat.
“It’s hard to say any of those things in context,” Nobles said, “but there is context to it.”
However, the department is facing is second racism scandal in as many years, and could undermine Chief Greg Suhr’s claim that the problem is limited to a handful of officers. Recently, allegations have been made that the department is suffering from a broader cultural problems within the ranks.
During a press conference Tuesday, a visibly emotional Suhr said reading Lai’s, and other SFPD officer’s text messages, “literally makes me sick to my stomach.” He offered the public an apology, saying, “we are better than this.” He said text messages sent by three other officers who have been implicated in the scandal were “no less reprehensible,” than those sent by Lai. Suhr continued by saying he has “no tolerance for officers who hold such reprehensible views.”
“The message is clear to both the officers in the department and the public: We will not have this in the San Francisco Police Department,” he said. “The culture of this police department is, you demonstrate yourself to be a racist and a homophobe, and you’re not going to be a police officer in San Francisco.”
By the end of 2016, Suhr said he plans to have the entire department undergo “bias training” to help ensure his officers understand and embrace that mission statement.
“I have already taken that training as has the entire command staff,” he said.
When a reporter asked Suhr if he plans to step down from his post, he vehemently replied, “I don’t have any plans to resign. I plan to move the department forward in the fashion I’m discussing with you right now.”