Philadelphia Police Officers Suspended Over Social Media Posts
The Philadelphia police commissioner has suspended 17 of his officers for 30 days over social media posts he called “sickening.”
According to reports from ABC News, Police Commissioner Richard Ross made the announcement during a news conference on Thursday.
“I continue to be very angered and disappointed by these posts, many of which, in my view, violate the basic tenets of human decency. And I am saddened by the fact that there are even some who would attempt to justify such hateful and vile behavior.”
This disciplinary action stems from more than 3,100 allegedly troubling Facebook posts made by 328 active Philadelphia police officers, 72 of whom ended up being put on administrative duty. Ross said that an investigation by an outside law firm contracted by the city found that the officers being suspended allegedly made racist, transphobic and otherwise hateful posts.
The police department immediately launched an internal investigation on June 1, which is when agency officials were made aware of the questionable posts. He also added that most of the 72 officers who had been pulled off street duty posted material “which advocates excessive force, but not necessarily to a person’s membership in a protected class.” He said such posts violated the city’s social media directive by posting statements that “erode the trust necessary for a police department to carry out its core mission.”
“The second group of officers posted material that is not only offensive and unprotected but constitutes an act or continuing course of conduct which demonstrates that the officers have little or no regard for their position as police officers,” Ross explained.
The 17 officers who allegedly fell into that second category will be suspended for 30 days, and the department will move to dismiss 13 of them.