Three police officers in Florida were fired after racist text messages were released. A fourth police officer resigned, but authorities stated that he would have been fired anyway if he did not resign. The officers used racist terms to describe people that they had arrested in the past. The man also used derogatory terms to describe their African-American co-workers.
Alex Alvarez, who was one of the officers arrested, also created an offensive video. The video had derogatory language as well as images of the Ku Klux Klan and Obama. Chief Franklin Adderley stated that the officers did not exhibit any criminal behavior. However, he stated that the reason the men were fired was because their conduct was inexcusable. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department has zero tolerance for that type of behavior.
They also ‘criticized their coworkers’ grammar, appearance, work ethic and referred to an entire shift as lazy (expletives)’. And they even talked about killing and injuring black people, CBS reported.
In one text, Sousa reportedly wrote: ‘Holdings we are coming and drinking all your beer and killing n******.’ In another, Holding said: ‘Id have that noose ready (sic)’, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Meanwhile, in Alvarez’s ‘movie trailer-style’ iMovie video, the officer displayed ‘racially insensitive’ behavior by including images of attacks on minorities and a person in a white Ku Klux Klan hood
Chief Franklin Adderley also stated that the officers’ behavior reflects poorly on the entire police department.
“There was no criminal behavior detected during this investigation, however, the four officers’ conduct was inexcusable and there is zero tolerance for this kind of behavior in the Fort Lauderdale Police Department,” Chief Franklin Adderley told reporters.
“Its attempt was to damage the image of our agency and I just hope that the people and the public realize that we’re not going to tolerate it and anyone that’s engaged in this behavior will be addressed immediately,” he said.
Additionally, he stated that if anyone else engages in that type of behavior, then it will be addressed immediately. Alvarez’s ex-fiancee was the person who discovered the racist text messages and video. She was hesitant to inform authorities about the text messages and video at first because she was afraid that he would hurt her.
The officers worked in a predominantly African-American neighborhood.
“I am very disappointed, disgusted and shocked by this incident,” Mayor Jack Seiler said.
“The inappropriate racist behavior exhibited by those involved is unacceptable and reprehensible, it violates the trust we place in our law enforcement officers, it damages the bond we have established in our community and undermines the standards in which each and every city employee is held accountable,” Seiler said at a news conference.
According to CNN, the police department is implementing a mandatory “diversity class” for officers and a screening process for new hires, said Adderley.