More than a dozen police officers were caught texting about killing Black people in California
Police in Torrance, California exchanged text messages about killing Black people. (mark6mauno / Wikimedia)

At least 15 police officers in Torrance, Ca. were caught exchanging racist text messages about killing Black people, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Some of the messages were unearthed during an investigation following the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Christopher DeAndre Mitchell in 2018 by officers Matthew Concannon and Anthony Chavez. Mitchell was shot as he sat inside of his car in a grocery store parking lot. When the family held a vigil outside of the police station the next day, the officers shared text messages calling Mitchell the N-word.

“Was going to tell you all those [N-word] family members are all pissed off in front of the station,” said one. “Gun cleaning Party at my house when they release my name??" Another officer replied, "Yes absolutely let's all just post in your yard with lawn chairs in a firing squad."

Two more officers, Christopher Tomsic and Cody Weldin were caught spray-painting a swastika inside of an impounded vehicle. A search warrant executed for the case recently unearthed at least 15 more police officers had exchanged violent, racist and homophobic messages for several years but were being suppressed by lawyers for the officers.

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The documents contained racist cartoons of Black and Latino people as well as comments about lynching Black suspects and killing Black children.

“Lucky I wasn’t out and about,” wrote one. “D.A. shoot team asking me why they are all hung by a noose and shot in the back of the head 8 times each.” Another called a Black child "n*gglet." Yet another said he would “put down" Black children.

Both Tomsic and Weldin left the department in 2020 but it is unclear if they were fired or resigned to another precinct. Officer Brian Kawamoto said that he “wanted to make Torrance great again” and called Black Lives Matter protesters “savages." Tom Yu, the lawyer representing some of the officers, defended their comments.

“The bottom line is, if I sent a message to my co-worker about how I feel about certain people, why did the police have the constitutional right to seize that and use that against me?” questioned Yu. “If I’m making an enforcement act as a police officer, and I’m not making the enforcement decision based on how I feel, then who cares about how I feel?”

Nearly all of the officers involved with the texting scandal are still employed by the Torrance Police Department.