Updated 12/06/2011 11:31 PM
NYPD Officers Made Racist Comments On Facebook, Public Defenders Group Says
An internal investigation is underway at the New York City Police Department after representatives from Brooklyn Defender Services said officers made racist comments about the West Indian Day Parade on a Facebook page. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
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Police officers are using Facebook to say what's on their minds, no holds barred.
Benjamin Moore, a public defender, said he couldn't believe what New York City Police Department officers wrote about the West Indian Day Parade.
“The very first post that I saw was, ‘they should bring in the National Guard. Let the government handle these animals,’" said Moore.
Moore said he started reading posts on the "No More West Indian Day Detail" page while representing a client. He said it appears current and retired officers were complaining about having to work the parade.
The Facebook site was taken down, but the agency Moore works for, Brooklyn Defender Services, copied the postings first. They read, “Maybe next year they should hold it on Rikers Island,” "It’s the unemployment parade," "Why is everyone calling it a parade, it's a scheduled riot," and “Drop a bomb and wipe them all out.”
Brooklyn Defender Services reps said they had to go public.
"I think it is important for the police have an opportunity to look into attitudes that may be pervasive in the police department, and we felt that this was the best way to make sure they had all the information so they could look into it," said Lisa Schreibersdorf, the organization’s executive director.
Councilman Jumaane Williams, who was wrongfully arrested by police at this year's parade, said there's no doubt in his mind that some officers are racist.
"They have simply racist policies, practices and procedures. Then you have things that back that up like the Facebook, and that’s a problem. And then you have Mayor Bloomberg and you have Commissioner Kelly that are not providing the leadership they’re providing when keeping us safe against terrorism. They are not acknowledging that there’s a problem,” said Williams.
On Facebook, some officers advised their coworkers to be careful because some of the statements sounded racist. Other officers fired back. They said they weren’t being racist but were stating that the parade is violent and should be ended.
The mayor's office said if the comments reported are accurate and from police officers, they are completely unacceptable.
NYPD officials said the statements are being investigated by internal affairs.