A new report reveals the offensive text messages allegedly exchanged between police officers in a Los Angeles suburb, according to The Atlantic Black Star.
Local and state attorney’s offices are investigating a dozen cops from the Torrance Police Department after multiple texts between them showed anti-Semitic jokes, threats against members of the LGBTQ+ community, photos of lynched Black men, and much more, reporters say.
Among the accused officers were Cody Weldin and Christopher Tomsic, both of whom were fired after being charged with conspiracy and vandalism for allegedly spray-painting a swastika inside a citizen’s car back in January 2020, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Those who are still with the department are currently on unpaid leave as the investigations continue. No one has been fired nor criminally charged over the alleged texts.
These incidents have put a huge spotlight on the Torrance Police Department’s history of racially-targeted practices. In 1996, federal investigators found that “two epithetic slogans … commonly used within the department. NIT stands for ‘N*****r in Torrance,’ they said; NITAD stands for a Black person spotted in Torrance ‘after dark'” among other disturbing practices.
CNN also reported that the Los Angeles County District Attorney dismissed 40 felony cases involving Torrance police officers, while the city’s attorney reportedly dismissed nearly 50 misdemeanor charges.
Newly-appointed Torrence Police Chief Jeremiah Hart said this in a statement about the controversies:
“I am committed to accountability, and I will not tolerate any form of bigotry, racism, hate, or misconduct. In partnership with [California] Attorney General [Rob] Bonta, I will ensure that needed changes are implemented to regain the public’s trust and confidence.”
You can read more about the situation here.