Nine officers from Hampton University’s police department have been fired after racist and misogynistic comments they made were discovered by the university.
From the Washington Post:
The officers committed “egregious violations of the university’s code of conduct” when they shared misogynistic, racist and other offensive remarks, according to a statement issued by the historically black university in Hampton, Va. “The university has a zero tolerance for such behavior,” university officials announced. A spokesman for the school did not immediately respond to further questions about the incident.
WAVY-TV reported that it had a copy of one of the termination letters, dated July 24. In the letter, Ronald Davis, deputy chief of the Hampton University Police Department, said multiple officers and supervisors had agreed “to initiate the third annual ‘Meme Wars,’ ” which he described as “a jovial release of photographs and captions designed to levy insults at others in the group as well as persons outside the group.”
According to WAVY-TV, the officers include four black men, four white men, and one black woman who ranged in tenure from a rookie officer to a 14-year supervisor. The firings trim the police department to a mere 12 officers heading into the new school year, which is scheduled to begin in August.
None of the memes were revealed publicly, but the officers have maintained that the messages were exchanged via group chat and were never published on social media. Despite its stance, the university asserts that police involvement in such behavior is “unbecoming of an officer.”
This serves as the latest example of law enforcement officers coming under fire for their conduct on social media. In June, 72 Philadelphia police officers were reassigned to administrative duty after the Plain View Project revealed questionable content on their social media accounts.
Other cities throughout the country have launched investigations of their own, so expect stories such as this to become more commonplace.