San Francisco’s chief prosecutor said on Thursday he has ordered a review of criminal cases likely to have numbered in the hundreds involving any of five police officers found to have exchanged racist and homophobic text messages among themselves.
District Attorney George Gascon said he recommended in a letter on Wednesday to city Police Chief Gregory Suhr that the officers be assigned to desk duty to avoid adding to the potential case load that may be tainted by disclosure of their bias.
The racist and anti-gay text messages in question came to light during a review of 5,000 pages of material turned over by police in an unrelated investigation, and prosecutors have some 20,000 additional pages to examine, Gascon said in a telephone interview with Reuters.
“So I don’t know if more officers will be involved,” he said. “While the majority of San Francisco Police Department officers are hardworking men and women who serve with distinction, we cannot have this kind of conduct within the criminal justice system.”
Gascon’s disclosure comes a year after 14 other members of the San Francisco Police Department were caught up in a similar texting scandal that forced a review of more than 4,000 cases involving the officers who were implicated.
(Reporting by Jim Christie in San Francisco; Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Sandra Maler and Matthew Lewis)