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

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Saturday, November 4, 2023
'I hate black people': Racist texting scandal rocks SJPD
San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata confirmed Friday that ofc. Mark McNamara is no longer employed by SJPD after he allegedly sent racist texts.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata announced Friday evening that a police officer is no longer employed by the department after internal investigation found that he sent "disgusting" racist text messages.

The former officer has been identified as Mark McNamara, who had been with SJPD for six years. Chief Mata said the department's internal affairs unit was investigating McNamara for another incident when they discovered the messages.

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

"This is why we have a zero tolerance policy," said San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan.

Mahan says he was disgusted by the around two dozen text messages attributed to McNamara.

The texts seemingly reference a 2022 incident in which then-officer McNamara shot football player K'aun Green at San Jose's La Victoria Taqueria.

VIDEO: 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.

Video showed Green had appeared to have broken up a fight inside the restaurant and was backing out of a door holding a gun he had confiscated from one of the perpetrators.

In some of the texts, McNamara saying things like, "I'm pretty sure the district attorney would have charged me if I used excessive force, but she didn't, because I didn't use excessive force... I'll shoot you too."

In others, McNamara describing Black men and writing, "They should all be bowing to me and bringing me gifts... Otherwise he would have lived a life of poverty and crime."

In another text, McNamara writing that he hates Black people.

"How long does the canary have to keep telling you there's something wrong inside this function," said Rev. Jethroe Moore II.

MORE: College athlete shot 4 times by officer after disarming gunman sues City of San Jose, SJPD

Rev. Moore is the president of the NAACP of San Jose and Silicon Valley.

He says while he applauds the police department for acting quickly, the incident is another blow to the relationship between SJPD and the African American community.

"It's an ongoing problem in police departments across America. And the San Jose Police Department is indicative of that," he said.

Mayor Mahan says the city has been working hard to have mechanisms in place to identify and weed out problematic officers like McNamara.

"The way that we build trust and rebuild the trust that frankly this individual has cost our city, is by being completely transparent and taking the swiftest possible action we can," Mahan said.

MORE: CA audit examines bias within SJPD, other law enforcement agencies

Despite that though, Mahan says he recognizes more work still needs to be done.

"We are not going to tolerate racism. We are going to continue working hard every day to build a culture of the utmost respect and professionalism in our department."

Chief Mata revealed the current employee who was on the receiving end of the text messages engaged in other "concerning" dialogue with former officer McNamara. That employee has since been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

The San Jose Police Officers' Association issued the following statement:

"Today's announcement of racist text messages by a former police officer is a disconcerting reminder that not everyone has the moral compass necessary to be in the law enforcement profession. This behavior is beyond unacceptable, and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. This incident represents the actions of an individual. It is not a reflection of those of us who serve with honor and who treat every member of our community with the respect and dignity they deserve. If these allegations are true, then this individual must face the sternest consequences possible. Our union believes that racism, and those who perpetrate it, have no place in our city and no place in law enforcement."

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