SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Four members of the San Francisco Police Department are under investigation for allegedly sending racist and homophobic text messages and all of them have been on the force for more than a decade, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Sunday.
The news comes in the wake of reports of racially charged policing that targeted black residents of the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri and a members of an Oklahoma fraternity singing a racist song that have raised attention on racial tensions in the United States.
The racially charged and homophobic texts came to light in a filing in federal court on Friday by prosecutors seeking to keep one of the officers in custody as he appeals his conviction and 40-month sentence on federal corruption charges, the newspaper said.
San Francisco Police officials were not immediately available for comment.
San Francisco police Chief Greg Suhr said on Saturday that he could not confirm the officers’ identities under state law, but will seek to fire those responsible for the messages, it said.
“It makes me sick to my stomach to even have these guys around,” the paper quoted him as saying.
(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Additiononal reporting by Emmett Berg in San Francisco; Editing by Eric Walsh)