Decertification process underway for ex-San Jose police officer in racist text scandal

Zach Fuentes Image
Friday, November 10, 2023
Decertification process underway for ex-SJPD officer in text scandal
The decertification process is underway for former San Jose police officer Mark McNamara who is under scrutiny for sending racist texts messages.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose city officials say they have started the process to keep a former police officer from ever serving in law enforcement again.

Mark McNamara is the officer who shot a man that was backing out of a San Jose taqueria last year, he's now under scrutiny for sending racist texts messages.

Mark McNamara resigned after an internal affairs investigation brought the messages to light.

But community groups, including the NAACP San Jose branch, Black Leadership Kitchen Cabinet and Silicon Valley DeBug, say that's not enough.

VIDEO: 'I hate black people': SJ officer no longer with dept. after exchanging racists texts, chief says

San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata confirmed Friday that ofc. Mark McNamara is no longer employed by SJPD after he allegedly sent racist texts.

"We want him to be decertified so that he can't just go around the corner to another city," said Reverend Reginald Swilley from Maranatha Christian Center.

In a statement Thursday, Police Chief Anthony Mata addressed calls:

"I fully agree with the Silicon Valley/San Jose branch of the NAACP that former officer McNamara should not be a police officer in any other community. As a result, we reached out to the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) last week and submitted documentation earlier this week so they may begin the decertification process.

The department is committed to ensuring Mr. McNamara cannot serve as a police officer elsewhere and will work with POST to ensure that decertification happens as soon as possible. We are also working collaboratively with the District Attorney's office to review cases that Mr. McNamara was involved in, including the March 2022 officer-involved shooting. Upon completion of our internal investigation, we will review any affected cases as well.

I want our community to know that I am committed to an anti-racism culture within our department and am already working with our community partners to update our officer training. The updated training will include this incident as a case study, emphasizing the importance of an anti-racist mindset and culture."

RELATED: Attorneys of 2022 SJ police shooting victim call for hate crime charges amid racist text messages

San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan echoed some of the chief's words in a statement of his own saying:

"The foundation of a safe city is establishing and maintaining trust between every single community and the people tasked with keeping us all safe. McNamara violated that trust. A police officer's badge is a symbol of their oath to protect and serve everyone, and McNamara does not deserve the honor of wearing it. Last week, our police department started the process of decertification by contacting the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) so that he will never again be allowed to make any community less safe with his racist views. The DA's office and our police department are working together to review cases involving McNamara, but unfortunately I cannot comment further on pending litigation. I want to make sure our community knows that this vile language and conduct does not represent the many officers in our department who work everyday to keep us all safe. Finally, I want to thank Chief Mata and City Manager Jennifer Maguire for moving swiftly and decisively to hold McNamara accountable."

McNamara shot K'Aun Green in 2022 as he was backing out of a La Victoria Taqueria in San Jose.

Green said he took a gun from someone who was part of a fight inside and was headed outside to get help when he was shot.

He suffered major injuries.

RELATED: San Jose officer shoots 20-year-old college athlete who disarmed suspect inside taqueria, police say

A San Jose officer is on administrative leave after shooting 20-year-old Kaun Green, who disarmed a gunman inside at La Victoria Taqueria.

"He was protecting, being courageous and doing the things that we paid police officers for," said civil rights attorney Adante Pointer who is representing Green.

The texts unveiled in the investigation were sent starting one day after the March 2022 shooting.

In one statement, McNamara says: "I hate black people".

Thursday's press conference saw several community leaders calling not just for McNamara's decertification but also for all criminal cases that involved McNamara to be dropped.

The Santa Clara County Public Defender's office was there in support of those calls.

MORE: 4 San Jose police officers put on leave amid investigation into alleged racist Facebook posts

"We at our office have already started the review process of every single case that this officer or former officer has touched," Karina Alvarez, Deputy Public Defender said.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney also released a statement Thursday saying:

"We are reviewing cases that Mr. McNamara was involved in including the March 2022 officer-involved shooting."

Green and Pointer filed a civil suit against the city of San Jose following the shooting.

Pointer says they're still trying to determine when it will go to trial.

"We still stand ready to fight for Mr. Green and his rights," Pointer said, "I look forward to the day that we may have to tell the story to a jury."

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