San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is calling for an investigation into racist comments allegedly made by officers on social media.
He says those comments were made in a closed Facebook group by current and former SJPD officers.
“I demand and expect a full investigation, and further expect that racist, anti-Muslim or menacing comments expressed by any current SJPD Officer will be met with termination,” Liccardo said in a statement.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia also weighed in.
“While I have no control over what former employees post online, I can voice my outrage after hearing about these comments made online,” he said. “Any current employee involved with bigoted activity online will promptly be investigated and held accountable to the fullest extent in my power. We have no place for this.”
The president of the San Jose Police Officers Association said it has a zero tolerance policy to such behavior.
“The SJPOA will provide you no shelter, no protection. We will not represent you because you do not represent us,” the organization said.
In a statement, the San Jose Police Department said four department officers have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is conducted.
In addition, the department will be seeking assistance from the FBI.
Read Liccardo’s full statement below:
“I demand and expect a full investigation, and further expect that racist, anti-Muslim or menacing comments expressed by any current SJPD Officer will be met with termination. Our Chief fired an officer for tweeting a similar statement in 2016, but an unaccountable arbitrator—immune from public or court review—reversed the termination, and forced the department to reinstate the officer. For that reason, as I articulated in my police reform proposal this week, I will push for changes to a disciplinary process that allows unaccountable arbitrators to reverse termination decisions of the Chief, and I will further push for independent investigation of all racially discriminatory conduct. This is precisely why these reforms are so important.”
The FBI is also assisting in an investigation of three former Long Beach Police Department officers for making violent threats against Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King in what seems to be the same group.