Hey, remember former San Francisco Police Department officer Jason Lai? He's the guy who, during an investigation of his alleged rape of a San Francisco woman, sent numerous racist and homophobic text messages. (Not to be confused with the 17 other SFPD officers whose similarly-themed texts were sent during the investigation of another cop some years before.) As part of a discovery motion filed Friday by San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi, we're now getting a look at those texts and, boy, are they revolting.
“It is chilling how casually former officer Lai dehumanizes the citizens he was sworn to serve,” Adachi said in a statement sent Tuesday morning.
“He wished violence upon the very people he was being paid to protect and none of his colleagues turned him in."
I've uploaded Adachi's full PDF of Lai's texts here (sorry that the doc is sideways — for the sake of transparency, I didn't want to edit it in any way), so you can take a look at all them for yourself.
As you can imagine, there's a lot of redundancy, as we all know that there's nothing horrible people like to do more than repeat themselves. But I wanted to give you a picture of what we're looking at, so here's an overview of Lai's sentiments, presented chronologically:
- 10/24/2014: Better than nigs looting
- 11/23/2014: Indian ppl are disgusting
- 11/24/2014: Ghetto nigs burning down their own city wtf
- 11/28/2014: Some nig tried to break into a diamond store on powell
- 11/29/2014: You need help with those rioters? I can snipe them with my air rifle
- 1/9/2015: Or some fucktard 528 reviewing my report [Ed note: 528 is police code for a fire call, and according to an anonymous SFPD officer is a derisive term for gay officers, an unkinder implication of "flaming"]
- 2/17/2015: I think we need to let the rag heads fight amongst themselves.
- 3/14/2015: With texting they can see all the msgs with the ATT search warrant? [Ed note: ?!?!?!?!?!?! AND YET HE CONTINUES]
- 4/24/2015: Here's a story I wrote today [Ed note: this was sent to at least four recipients, and describes "a draft of an official incident report," CNN reports.]
- 5/22/2015: Burn down the walgreens and kill the bums
- 6/8/2015: Bunch of hock gwais [Ed note: "apparently a misspelled reference to the Cantonese 'hak gwai,' a derogatory phrase for African Americans, CNN reports] shooting each other, too bad none of them dies
- 7/30/2015: I hate that beaner. But I think that nig is worse.
On August 7, a woman went to San Francisco General Hospital for injuries she received during a sexual assault five days prior. Though she refused to talk to officers while at the hospital, two days later, she told them what had happened and identified the suspect as Lai.
- 8/9/2015: This is my drop phone. Don't answer any calls or texts from my normal cell until further - Jason Lai
According to Adachi, two other SFPD officers — Former SFPD Lieutenant Curtis Liu, who retired following allegations of participation in a coverup in the Liu rape investigation and Officer Keith Ybarreta, who Liu's attorney earlier said texted multiple "derogatory comments about African Americans" — have also been named by prosecutors as participants in the current scandal. The texts from those men, Adachi says, have not been provided to him.
207 criminal cases were the result of arrests arrests made during Lai's six years years as an SFPD officer as well as those made my Liu and Ybarreta. All those cases are now under additional scrutiny due to their apparently biased remarks, Adachi says. Here's a list of those cases.
“It would be naive to believe these officers’ bigotry was reserved solely for text messages,” Adachi says.
“It is a window into the biases they harbored. It likely influenced who they stopped, who they searched, who they arrested, and how they testified in criminal trials.”
“It’s time for officers to speak up when their colleagues exhibit this kind of bigotry,” Adachi says.
“It is corroding community trust and making it harder for good officers to do their jobs.”
When reached by SFist, an SFPD spokesperson says that "Chief Greg Suhr will speak to the press today, Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 1:45 PM in Room 1025 of the SFPD Headquarters Building, located at 1245 3rd Street regarding the release of racist and homophobic text messages," and did not provide further comment.
Lia, who recently left the department, was arrested on March 23, 2016. Though "there was insufficient evidence for a sexual assault charge," SFPD says, after a seven-month-long investigation Lai was arrested for "violations related to use and access to confidential criminal offender information and motor vehicle records."
As of today, he was still free on $18,000 bond, and faces two misdemeanor counts of Unlawful Possession of Local Criminal Offender History Information and four misdemeanor counts of Misuse of Confidential Department of Motor Vehicles Information. He is expected back in court next month.
Previously: Seven Months After Alleged Sexual Assault, SFPD Officer To Finally Face Some Music
DA: SFPD Officers Sent Recent Racist Texts Mocking The Racist Text Scandal
More Racist SFPD Texts Were Uncovered During Sexual Assault Investigation Of Officer