Leaked Internal Affairs File Reveals 2 Ex-Cops in Pennsylvania Exchanged Mad Racist Texts

Illustration for article titled Leaked Internal Affairs File Reveals 2 Ex-Cops in Pennsylvania Exchanged Mad Racist Texts
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Cops, in my humble opinion, are generally racist. I don’t think that’s a controversial statement, provided you have at least one foot grounded in reality. Need an example? Well, a trove of leaked texts between two ex-Scranton, Pa., police officers revealed that they were hella racist.

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According to the Post-Gazette, the texts were in an internal affairs file that stemmed from a sexual assault investigation into one of the officers. The cell phone of former Cpl. Tom McDonald was recovered from a police vehicle and revealed that McDonald and former Patrolwoman Bryanna Gifford had exchanged numerous racist text messages.

The investigation conducted by Capt. Dennis Lukasewicz found that the two had exchanged 76 racist comments about Black people, six about Hispanic people, and three about those from the Middle East.

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As for how the documents got out, well, it’s a whole a damn thing, y’all.

From the Post-Gazette:

The documents from McDonald’s internal affairs file were posted publicly on Facebook by Dajuan Saunders, the plaintiff in a federal civil lawsuit against the city. Saunders sued McDonald and the city in 2017 claiming his rights were violated by McDonald during a 2010 arrest for driving under the influence and sought the documents in connection with his case.

City officials this week refused to confirm the identify of the officers. In a statement Monday, Mayor Paige Gebhardt Cognetti said two officers — a man and a woman — were fired in June.

The Times-Tribune previously reported that McDonald was fired in June. Abigail Corrigan, Cognetti’s executive assistant, confirmed Tuesday in an email that Gifford “is not currently employed by the city.”

The leaked documents did not appear to be in the publicly available docket in federal court. However, in a July 20 response to Saunders’ motion to compel the city to produce documents, including McDonald’s disciplinary records, attorney Jenna Kraycer Tuzze, who represents the city, wrote they “intend to produce” McDonald’s internal affairs file “in the near future.”

Tuzze, of the firm Oliver, Price & Rhodes, is the attorney who signed the law firm’s cover sheet on the internal affairs file Saunders posted to Facebook.

McDonald is currently the subject of multiple lawsuits. Scranton attorney Matt Comerford filed a federal lawsuit earlier this year, alleging McDonald used his position in the department’s undercover drug unit to coerce female informants into sexual acts. McDonald has not been charged for the allegations in that lawsuit.

Man, just an upstanding officer of the law, that Tom McDonald. I can’t see why the police department decided to fire him in June, after suspending him without pay.

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McDonald is currently the subject of another lawsuit, after straight-up threatening to kill one of his fellow police officers shortly after being fired.

He allegedly told Sgt. Thomas Carroll “I am planning to take it to your team. It will be out in the open not a house or building like you always train.”

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Goddamn, whose mans is this? All I can say is damn on that one. McDonald is currently facing charges of terroristic threats and harassment, and waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

With regards to the racist texts, McDonald busted out the “just because it sounds racist, doesn’t mean it is racist,” excuse. In a written response to questions about the texts, McDonald admitted to investigators that he sent them, but said that while the texts could be “construed” as racist, he denied using them in a racist manner.

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I just don’t get how one uses a racial slur in a not racist manner?

Police Chief Leonard Namiotka held a news conference on Tuesday, calling out the actions of the officers. “I’d like to emphasize that the Scranton Police Department does not condone the acts of the people that were investigated,” Namiotka said. “We are not a racist organization. We will not tolerate any comments, anything derogatory, against any individual.”

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In his written responses, McDonald admitted the texts were “inappropriate and unprofessional,” but were reflective of the culture in the Scranton Police Department.

Namiotka took umbrage with that assertion, saying “That’s 100 percent false,” during the news conference. “I believe the officer was trying to cover for himself to make himself look good in this investigation where he was doing wrong. And ultimately, he paid for that by being terminated.”

Jr Staff Writer @TheRoot. Watcher of wrestling, player of video games. Mr. Steal Your Disney+ Password.

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DISCUSSION

Sorry, but if that’s part of the police culture, then he would have been fired a LONG time ago.. the fact that he’s just NOW being fired and fined... is an indication that the cop is right, that this is part of the culture.