In the wake of a scandal over racist and homophobic text messages that rocked the San Francisco Police Department, the city’s prosecutors have dismissed at least eight criminal cases out of concerns about bias among 14 officers, reports the Associated Press.
District attorney’s spokesman Max Szabo told the news agency Friday that the department did not immediately have details about the nature of the cases that were dismissed, but he acknowledged that prosecutors are reviewing an additional 3,000 cases because of the text messages.
AP notes that texts included slurs against blacks, Mexicans, Filipinos and gays and featured officers and civilians repeatedly using the phrase “white power.”
This week, District Attorney George Gascon announced plans to add three former judges to a task force to study whether bias by any of the officers connected to the text messages led to wrongful prosecutions, AP reports.
As The Root reported in March, the case was sparked by an investigation of Ian Furminger, a former San Francisco sergeant, who was charged with robbing drug dealers.
During the Furminger probe, investigators uncovered racist and homophobic text messages between him and three other officers, which prompted a new inquiry.
The texts were exchanged between 2011 and 2012. In one, Furminger told a fellow police officer that his wife’s friend was visiting with her black husband. The officer wrote, “SFPD Officer: Get ur pocket gun. Keep it available in case the monkey returns to his roots, it’s not against the law to put an animal down.”
Furminger wrote: “Well said.”
Read more at the Associated Press.