SF police chief asks for firing of 7 officers in texting scandal

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's police chief Greg Suhr announced the punishment he is now seeking for officers accused of sending and responding to racist and homophobic text messages.

As expected, Chief Suhr announced he will ask the San Francisco police commission to terminate seven officers for sending, or responding to homophobic text messages. He will ask them to look at the actions of six others, as well. One police officer has already resigned and the chief expects a second resignation by the end of the day.

"We cannot have this in San Francisco," Suhr said. "We have to do all in our power to root it out and address it,"

The text messages came to light only after federal prosecutors released them last month, as part of a bail hearing for former officer Ian Furminger, who was convicted in a federal corruption trial last December.

San Francisco reverend Amos Brown, NAACP Bay Area chapter president, attended today's press conference. He said later that the texts reflect unfavorably upon the department.

"In terms of attitude, racism and unjust practices, San Francisco is Ferguson," Brown said.

Martin Halloran, president of San Francisco's police union, had more moderate opinions.

"A very small percentage of our department that have accusations of misconduct against them does not reflect the entire SFPD," Halloran said.

"The trust in our police department is not lost one me that it has taken a major hit and we will do everything to rebuild that trust," Suhr said.

People on the streets of the Castro District reacted to the scandal that's rocked the San Francisco Police Department.

"For them to say those things, shame on them," said San Francisco resident Aladdin Nabulsi.

"It's just part of reality I guess, maybe part of the law enforcement culture, not sure there's a solution," said man in the neighborhood.

Jennifer Grant with Our Family Coalition, a resource for LGBT families, said she believes the scandal is disappointing but that it doesn't reflect on the entire the police department, but it could be a turning point.

"The Silver lining to this is it's coming out," Grant said. "They'll be more trainings, people are talking about this and all those conversations may result in progress,learning and moving forward."

The scandal could jeopardize court cases that relied on testimony from officers linked to the ugly texts. A review is underway.
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