A worrying new report has claimed hundreds of US police officers are members of hateful, prejudice Facebook groups.
As reported by Reveal, nearly 400 officers, including those who are both retired and still enforcing the law, are involved in groups that are Islamophobic, sexist, Confederate and anti-government.
A few of the above are even included in groups named White Lives Matter, DEATH TO ISLAM UNDERCOVER, and other violent anti-government groups such as Three Percenters and Oath Keepers.
The report explains:
The groups cover a range of extremist ideologies. Some present themselves publicly as being dedicated to benign historical discussion of the Confederacy, but are replete with racism inside. Some trade in anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant memes.
After the claims were brought forward, many of the officers denied any knowledge of being part of these groups despite some of them clearly being active members participating in conversations.
The publication claims a Chicago lieutenant who belongs to a group reportedly named Any Islamist Insults Infidels, I Will Put Him Under My Feet has been accused of using ‘illegal use of force, verbal abuse and criminal misconduct’ a total of 70 times.
One of the officers in the report includes, Houston detective James ‘JT’ Thomas, and member of The White Privilege Club, who was fired by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in February because his online posts violated conduct policies.
The Sheriff’s Office explained to Reveal:
Personnel who, through their use of social media, cause undue embarrassment or damage the reputation of, or erode the public’s confidence in, the HCSO shall be deemed to have violated this policy and shall be subject to counseling and/or discipline.
During a hearing, Thomas appealed his dismissal, during which he defended his posts, asking the courtroom ‘if you remove the black female out of the picture, what’s racist about it?’
As a result of the report, more than 50 different police departments in the US launched internal investigations and several officers have been fired for their conduct.
I think we can all agree how worrying it is when the people who are there to protect us are the people who are spreading this hatred.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.