In early February, the San Francisco Police Department says it learned from two officers at its Bayview Station that another officer had used "inappropriate language" with "sexual and racial undertones." Maybe the SFPD is talking about a different remark or series of remarks than the one the Examiner's source reveals, because this statement is not particularly sexual and its "racial undertones" are better described as racist overtones.
Namely: An officer at the Bayview station allegedly stated he "he only transferred to the station to 'kill n—-rs,'" or so the paper learns from its source.
Update: According to a release from the SFPD, that statement was not necessarily made, and was certainly not the one in question that was reported by colleagues.
Per the SFPD statement: "We want to be perfectly clear that the phrase reported by the [Examiner] was never alleged by the Department to have been said by that member, nor did witnesses to the incident allege the member made that statement."
However, whatever was said did merit scrutiny. "What the member did say was sufficient for Police Chief Greg Suhr to suspend the member and forward the matter to the Police Commission with a recommendation for discipline up to and including termination," the statement continued.
Now, the Chronicle says the remarks were two. First, the officer said he came to the station “chase Negro boys around,” and the Department has argued that this is not the same as saying "n***er," Chief Suhr tells the Chronicle that "We have no allegation from either of the eyewitness officers that reported this allegation that he said that sentence or that he said the ‘n-word.’” The second offense: The officer appears to have said to a female colleague, “I got a big gun for you,” when she asked why he wasn't carrying his weapon.
While the Police Department did not initially name the accused officer, the Examiner learned independently that he is Sergeant Lawrence Kempinski, a 17-year veteran of the department with a master's degree in Theology. After the Examiner released Kempinski's name, the SFPD released it as well in an extended press release.
The incident was reported as part of an internal enforcement movement, "Not On My Watch." An investigation into the remark or remarks was completed in early April, the Department writes, and SFPD Chief Suhr suspended Kempinski and forwarded the matter to the Police Commission, recommending discipline and endorsing termination.
The inevitable backdrop for all this: A second trove of racist text messages, whose grotesque contents are available here, which was discovered during a sexual assault case of an SFPD officer. Those messages included dismissive, mocking reference to the prior racist texting scandal that first roiled the department but led to few repercussions.
Since Mayor Lee's inauguration, calls for Chief Suhr's removal have only grown in volume, with a hunger strike and march on City Hall last week punctuating that movement. Among protestors' grievances: The killing of Mario Woods, a young black man who was shot by SFPD officers in the Bayview, not far from the site of Kempinski's alleged remarks.