Dallas Police Officers Disciplined For Offensive Social Media Posts
More than a dozen Dallas police officers have been disciplined for making offensive statements on social media, including posts that were bigoted or made light of police violence.
The police department announced Thursday that 13 officers whose posts violated department policy would receive punishments ranging from a written reprimand to unpaid suspension.
Two more cases are still being reviewed and one officer resigned, the department said in a statement and memo on the disciplinary measures. The officers can appeal their punishments.
“It is imperative that we operate with the highest level of ethics and integrity to ensure that the public is confident in the legitimacy of who we are as a law enforcement agency," Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall said.
The officer’s posts were among thousands identified by researchers with the Plain View Project as potentially undermining public confidence in police departments around the country.
Dallas police launched an internal review after the watchdog released its findings in June. Internal affairs investigators reviewed hundreds of posts dating back to 2010, but found 60 of the 169 Dallas officer identified by the Plain View Project were no longer with the department, according to the police statement.
Some of the remaining officers were found to have not violated department policy and others were given cultural awareness training, police said.
In July, the department said 25 officers could face discipline for making offensive posts, including ones that made light of suicide, mocked protesters who were pepper-sprayed and joked about police shooting victims.
The punishments this week follow the department announcing that 20 officers were suspended without pay after a different internal investigation found they failed to account for money won in gambling stings.
The Dallas Police Association, which represents some city officers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In December, the Austin City Council ordered an investigation into the Austin Police Department following allegations of racism and homophobia against two assistant police chiefs. The investigation will include an audit of police officers' social media accounts.