A series of racially offensive texts sent by two Oakland police officers, the revelation of which led directly or indirectly to the removal of the third of three police chiefs in quick succession in June, has resulted in those two officers getting suspended. As the Chronicle reports, the city of Oakland issued a statement about the suspensions Wednesday but declined to identify the officers by name, citing state privacy laws.
We know, however, from when news of the scandal broke, that the texts in question assuming we're talking about the same texts were exchanged between two African-American officers, Lt. Tony Jones and his former friend Sgt. Mike Gantt. Jones had already been placed on leave as of June as part of a wider investigation into the texts. Again, however, we can not confirm that these same two officers were the ones suspended. Per the Chron, Mayor Libby Schaaf, who previously derided the "frat house" culture of the police department, confirmed that the suspended officers were both African American.
One of the offending texts, revealed by the City of Oakland and captured on camera by NBC Bay Area (shown above), depicts an image of Ku Klux Klan members whispering to one another "N***ers be killing themselves for us."
Per KRON 4, the Oakland Police Department will be undergoing "a refresher course the city’s anti-discrimination and non-harassment policies."
City spokesperson Karen Boyd said, "In keeping with our commitment to transparency and accountability to the public, the city of Oakland is providing as much information regarding the outcome of this investigation as we are allowed to share by law."
Meanwhile, Sgt. Gantt was also implicated in a separate investigation involving crime scene paperwork he'd submitted. As KRON 4 reported, Gantt, who is married, allegedly had a girlfriend write reports for him, and was known to leave evidence at her home, potentially putting important convictions at risk because it was out of his custody.