Four California Police Officers Under Probe for Islamophobic Posts29 Jun 2020
For police officers from California have been put under administrative leave after it was discovered that they’ve been making bigoted, racist and Islamophobic posts on Facebook. Police are now investigating the posts and the threats made in them.
One officer suggested using hijabs as nooses
The Facebook posts were linked to a group of retired and active police officers and were first revealed last Friday. First brought to public view by an unnamed blogger who said that they were the partner of a law enforcement officer in the San Francisco Bay Area, the screenshots of the posts included references to the Black Lives Matter activists as “domestic enemies.”
Another post referenced how a Muslim woman’s hijab was pulled off by a sheriff’s deputy in Ventura County, California. The commenters suggested pulling the hijab over the woman’s face while another suggested using hijabs as nooses.
The blogger who brought these comments to light requested anonymity, citing fears to their life.
The posts have been widely condemned
Since coming to light, the posts were condemned by both activist groups and police officials themselves.
Police Chief Eddie Garcia and Mayor Sam Licardo both said that investigations are underway, with Garcia confirming that the FBI has been contacted while Licardo called for any officers who made “racist, anti-Muslim or menacing comments” to be fired.
Mayor Licardo also mentioned that a white officer criticising the Black Lives Matter protests was fired on 2016, only to be reinstated.
“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,” the Mayor said.
Similarly, Zahra Billoo, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area, said that such Islamophobic rhetoric is “even more terrifying” coming from police officers. Billoo asked how the community can trust police officers, expressing concern that such sentiments go beyond a few bad posts.
Other activists in California, meanwhile, intensified their calls for the San Jose Police Department to be defunded. Raj Jayadev, co-founder of social justice group Silicon Valley De-Bug, said that the culture of racism would not go away by simply firing or disciplining the police officers.