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8 San Francisco Cops Suspended Over Racist & Homophobic Texts. Chief Greg Suhr Wants Them Fired (Video)

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr speaks to members of the media

San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr on Friday announced the conclusion of an Internal Affairs investigation into racist and homophobic text messages sent by officers.

Suhr said at least one police sergeant and a captain were involved. "It just makes me sick to even talk about it," said Suhr. "Certainly to have a member as high ranking as a captain was particularly disheartening."

The texts surfaced a couple of weeks ago after former officer Ian Furminger was sentenced on federal corruption charges.

Former officer Ian Furminger

Fourteen officers in all were the subject of an internal investigation. Suhr says eight - including the captain - sent messages sickening enough to warrant immediate suspension and eventual termination.

Michael Robison - a gay police officer and 23 year veteran - resigned over the texts he shared with Furminger.

On Friday, Officer Michael Celis, a 16 year veteran of the force, announced he'd step down as well - a move that may help the officers keep their pensions.

"Those [texts] don't represent his views, they don't represent how he approached his work and his life," said San Francisco attorney Tony Brass, who represents Celis and Robison. "But he understands that the texts are incompatible with continuing his work as a San Francisco police officer."

In a statement, San Francisco Police Officers Association President Martin Halloran said, "These officers need to be afforded their due process... If these allegations are proven to be true... there is no place for this type of behavior within the San Francisco Police Officers Association or the SFPD."

The officers will go before the Police Commission, which will have the final say on whether to terminate them or mete out another form of discipline.

Critics on Friday called for reform in the department. "We have to vet officers," said San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, "so we don't have officers who hold racist views that are going to endanger not only themselves but the public, and also provide training on unconscious bias."

Suhr said the department recently restored a racial profiling class that had lost funding and plans to examine officers' backgrounds for warning signs.

"You have to assume that there could be more," said Suhr. "So we're going to look at their personal history questionnaires to see if there's some commonality that we hired somebody that we should've known that we shouldn't have hired."

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Comment by Bombahdrop on April 7, 2015 at 1:13am

I want to say something, but i'll pass.

Comment by YES PAPA!! on April 6, 2015 at 9:30am
Comment by Abundant1 on April 5, 2015 at 8:05pm
Thankful for this police Chiefs strong stance...
Comment by VeryGoodD on April 5, 2015 at 7:42pm

This senseless disregard for decency, love, respect and practice of sensibility, due diligence and proper professionalism is not just unique to the South; it is alive in many major cities in the North, be it San Francisco, L.A., Seattle, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, New York, etc.  It is alive and well and our leaders need to get serious and try to solve these emerging problems before it blows in everyone's face.  It is an epidemic, but folks in most cases are shunning it and pretending that it is something light weight.  This is the 21st Century, the year 2015 seems like we are still in the archaic period.  I wonder what legacy are we leaving for our growing up children.  The everyday occurrences of these blatant problems are increasing every day and spreading like cancer.  They need to be contained as quickly as possible.  Is this the "true" United States of America??  The BAD APPLES in our law enforcement across this great nation are going off the hook and our policy makers are pretending like they do not know what is going on or what they can do to make positive changes.  The leaders of tomorrow are watching and they all need positive feedback and good examples from out current leaders. 

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