The San Francisco Police Department is investigating four of its officers after racist and homophobic texts were released by the U.S. attorney’s office.
The texts were released in connection with the investigation into corruption charges against Sgt. Ian Furminger. Furminger has been sentenced to over 40 months in prison but has requested bail while he appeals the charges. The prosecutor’s office released the texts in an effort to deny bail.
“Furminger actively promotes the fantasy that he is a person of character, pointing to awards that he has received as a police officer,” prosecutors wrote. “In doing so, he simply disregards the conduct for which he was convicted. … He also fails to advise the court that he is a virulent racist and homophobe.”
“Although these sort of overtly racist views sadly still are expressed in some communities,” they wrote, “it is shocking and appalling to find a police officer in San Francisco who would give voice to them.”
Officer Albie Esparza, a spokesman for the Police Department, said that the other four officers involved in the texting scandal had been reassigned “some time ago” while the internal investigation continues. “The SFPD is investigating officers for extreme bias, which has no place in the Police Department,” he said. “Any investigation that reveals that an officer is biased will be forwarded to the Police Commission with a recommendation from the chief for termination.”