NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday called for an independent investigation after a deputy inspector with the NYPD's Equal Employment Opportunity Division was accused of posting racist and misogynistic rants to an online chat board.
“That is one of the most disturbing situations I have seen in a long time. That’s not about one official,” Cuomo said in an interview with NY1’s Kristen Shaughnessy. “And they better not try to cover this up. That was a police blog that operated for years with hundreds of police officers posting on it. The most racist, sexist, anti-Semitic comments. I can’t believe people still talk like that.”
James Kobel was placed on modified duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation. The NYPD said it was given a report last month that attributed comments to Kobel that included several instances of prejudice, sexism, and intolerance.
According to a report in the New York Times, Kobel is accused of posting between the summer of 2019 and this fall hundreds of hateful messages on the Rant, an unofficial online chat board used by NYPD officers, at times for racist and misogynistic posts.
Kobel is being represented by a lawyer from the Captains Endowment Association. In a statement the attorney said, "My client adamantly denies these charges. We intend to conduct our own investigation into this matter. We’re confident when the facts come out he will be exonerated."
The governor suggested a district attorney or a U.S. attorney could conduct an investigation into Kobel.
Cuomo questioned the NYPD’s knowledge of this blog. “Are you telling me the NYPD didn’t know?” he said.
In his interview, Cuomo also slammed President Donald Trump’s baseless claims that the presidential election was being rigged with the counting of absentee ballots, and said the election was a blowout for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
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Watch the full interview above.
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