The police in Philadelphia are on a crusade to purge officers whose actions – whether in their official capacities or not, place a huge dent of negativity on the Department, and even so, on the state. In its latest move – largest of its kind in recent years – the police department has taken 72 officers off the streets and placed them on administrative duty. This was as a result of the outcome of an investigative project targeted at police officers to identify racist and offensive posts they made on Facebook.
Making the announcement during a press conference, Philadelphia Police Commissioner, Richard Ross said that of the 72 removed during the department’s initial investigation, their discipline actions will range from a few days suspension “in many cases” and up to termination from the police force.
So far, although the investigation implicated more than 300 officers, no name has been released.
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“Internal affairs has already begun to investigate each of these officers identified,” Ross said during the press conference.
“We recognize that because of the acts of a few … that in many ways, we understand how this can tarnish or did tarnish our reputation. But we will work tirelessly to repair that reputation, to improve police community relations, as we are equally disgusted by many of the posts that you saw and the rest of the nation saw,” he added.
This makes the act one of the largest removals of police from active duty in the recent history of the department.
Earlier this month, The Plain View Project, a database of public Facebook posts made by current and former police across the U.S., highlighted thousands of police officers’ posts that were racist or offensive.
The Philadelphia Police Department initially put 10 officers on desk duty following the release of The Plain View Project’s database earlier this month.