The Philadelphia Police Department is expected to begin the process of firing police officers whose racist or offensive social media posts were discovered online, according to a report from The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Sources told the newspaper as many as 13 officers will be suspended with intent to dismiss beginning Friday, though it is not immediately clear who the officers are or what they may have posted.
Last month, Philadelphia police launched an investigation into social media posts by officers that included Confederate imagery, anti-Muslim sentiments, violent rhetoric and racist comments. Seventy-two officers were taken off the streets and placed on administrative duty following allegations that officers posted hateful or racist content online.
The social media posts were compiled by The Plain View Project, which describes itself as a “database of public Facebook posts and comments made by current and former police officers from several jurisdictions across the United States.” The St. Louis Police Department also launched an investigation after the group linked racist and anti-Muslim Facebook posts to the accounts of its officers.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross called the posts “disturbing, disappointing and upsetting.”
“Our officers are entitled to due process just like any other citizen,” Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 President John McNesby said in a statement last month after the officers were taken off the street. “We will support and represent those officers during this overly-broad social-media investigation.”
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