Five days after a court filing revealed a number of racially charged and orientation-based slur-filled texts between active San Francisco Police Department officers, the shock waves from the case continue. Now we're hearing that even more officers might be involved, that about a thousand prosecuted cases involving the first four texters will need a second look, and that three cases currently working their way through the system might get dismissed as a result of possible police bias. Oh, and that former SFPD officer Ian Furminger, the cop who was convicted of corruption, says "My best friends and closest friends are all black, gay, Chinese or Asian, and Hispanic."
Texting Investigation Expands To Ten More Officers
Police union officials said Tuesday that "at least 10 additional cops [are] coming under investigation by the internal affairs unit," Matier and Ross report, including at least one captain in the force.
The Ex reports that "while additional officers have been looked into, only the four are being formally investigated."
SFPD Chief Greg Suhr texted M&R saying that “We are expediting the investigation and hope to be finished within 30 days," but "would not name names, confirm ranks or provide details of the probe."
Martin Halloran, the president of SF's Police Officers Association said that the expanded-investigation officers have all gotten union attorneys “for their legal defense, which they are entitled to under their peace officer bill of rights,” but that though "he did not have complete details on why the 10 additional officers had come under investigation...he said their alleged conduct was 'certainly not at the level of the initial four officers — not even close.'"
"To me it appears that they're not as serious because those officers have not been removed from public contact, they have not been transferred," Halloran told KTVU. "So that leads me to believe that the messaging that they have done certainly doesn't rise to the level of the initial four officers."
One Of The Original Four Texters (Someone Think Of A Clever Name, Please) Is Gay
M&R note that officer Michael Robison, who joined SFPD in 1992, is out and proud. He even told LGBT-focused magazine The Advocate (that's Robinson on the cover, above) “I’m treated like one of the guys. ... The 'good ole boy’ system is on its way out, and the new generation that has replaced them sees things from a more open-minded standpoint," in 1998.
Robison’s attorney, Tony Brass told M&R “No one is championing the bigotry and racism in those words...But these cops are in a very politically correct department, and when they blow off steam they do it by being the very opposite of politically correct.’’
Ian Furminger Speaks
In an interview with ABC7, Ian Furminger, the former SFPD officer convicted of corruption whose case revealed his and the current officers' texts, wants you to know he's not a racist.
Some quotes from the interview include: "They were supposed to be funny," "my best friends and closest friends are all black, gay, Chinese or Asian, and Hispanic...That's who I socialize with. That's who I spend my time with, and that "those texts are not a reflection of who I am. It's a rebound reaction to a politically correct environment."
Furminger's request for bail as he appeals his conviction (he says he was framed) was denied on Monday. He is set to begin serving his sentence on April 3.
The Texting Cops Called A Colleague A "Nigger Bitch"
Part of that "reaction to a politically correct environment" was apparently to refer to SFPD Sergeant Yulanda Williams as a "nigger bitch," the Chron notes.
Williams, who is the president of Officers For Justice, the Bayview-based police group that reps African-American cops, told KTVU that a black officer told her yesterday that "it was very difficult yesterday for her to decide to come to work and then once she was at work, she was not at ease...She felt like she was at a hostile work environment because she didn't really know who was on her side and who maybe worked with her that might really have some deep-seated hate because of the color of her skin."
Racist Texts Mean Cases Involving These Cops Might Be Dismissed
In a press release sent Tuesday, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi said his office will work with San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón to review an estimated 1,000 criminal cases that may have been tainted by the texting officers (including Furminger)
Adachi told the Chron that at least three auto-theft and drug cases that had been winding their way through the system might be dismissed next week, as the cops on the case were texters Michael Celis and Noel Schwab.
"As many as 120 cases could be scuttled" following the review, the Chron reports.
In a statement, Adachi says that "The messages make clear the utter contempt these officers had for the people they were sworn to protect."
"You can’t simply set aside this kind of extreme bias when you go to work. It affected who they chose to detain, search and arrest. It affected which witnesses or crime victims they chose to believe."
Fallout Form SFPD's Racist, Homophobic Text Scandal Continues
SFPD Officers Behind Racist And Homophobic Texts Identified
Four SFPD Officers Under Investigation For Racist And Homophobic Texts
And here's the complete court filing that included the texts in question: GOVERNMENT’S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT FURMINGER’S MOTION FOR BAIL PENDING APPEAL
Two SF Cops Convicted In Corruption Trial Involving Stolen Drugs And Cash