SF police chief recommends 7 cops be fired over bigoted text messages 

Up to 14 San Francisco police officers will be disciplined for receiving or sending bigoted text messages, and Police Chief Greg Suhr said Friday he is pushing for seven of those officers to be terminated after one already resigned.

Two of the remaining six officers could also be fired if they receive the most severe punishment from the Police Commission.

The officers were exchanging messages with former Sgt. Ian Furminger, a veteran police officer who was recently convicted on federal police corruption charges. The messages, sent in late 2011 and early 2012, became known to Suhr late last year but only became public after Furminger’s conviction when they were used by the FBI in its effort to deny Furminger bail while he appeals his conviction.

One officer who Suhr recommended to be fired has already resigned. Another is expected to quit Friday, Suhr said during a news conference at the Hall of Justice.

The current and former members of the Police Department were willing participants in the “repulsive” racist, sexist and homophobic conversations with Furminger, Suhr said Friday.

“This was conduct incompatible with being a police officer,” he said. “We cannot have this in San Francisco.”

Furminger, a veteran cop who spent more than two decades on the force before he was implicated in a corruption scandal with four other officers, sent other cops texts that included racial epithets and used phrases like “white power,” according to court filings.

“All niggers must fucking hang,” another officer, still unidentified, texted to Furminger.

Two more officers whose participation was deemed less severe have had their names forwarded to the Police Commission for punishment “up to” termination, Suhr said.

Another four officers who received inflammatory text messages have been reassigned to administrative duties.

The names of the officers cannot be released under Police Department rules, officials said.

In addition to the discipline meted out by Suhr, there could be consequences for defendants in an untold amount of criminal cases in which the officers were involved.

“There will be a review” of police reports and testimony made by the text-messaging officers for any signs of bias, Suhr said.

In addition to the Police Department review, District Attorney George Gascon is conducting an investigation.

Over 1,000 cases spanning 10 years could potentially be affected, said Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who called upon Suhr to mandate additional “racial bias” training for all officers.

There should also be a requirement for police officers to report any racist or bigoted conversation between police immediately or face discipline, Adachi said.

“Training and reinforcement is the only way to ensure that racial bias by police does not harm our citizenry,” Adachi said.

About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has worked as a reporter in San Francisco since 2008, with an emphasis on city governance and politics, The City’s neighborhoods, race, poverty and the drug war.
Pin It

Speaking of...

More by Chris Roberts

Latest in Crime & Courts

© 2019 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation