A San Jose, California, police officer is “no longer employed” with the police department after sending a series of racially biased, “disgusting” messages, according to a news release from San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata.
“I hate Black people,” one of the messages read, which were discovered during an unrelated investigation into the shooting of a 20-year-old college student.
Other messages from the officer, Mark McNamara – who self-identified as White in one of the text messages – included multiple forms of the n-word and other derogatory language, San Jose police shared in the release.
McNamara “had been with the department for 6 years and was involved in an officer involved shooting at a La Victoria Taquería in Downtown San Jose on March 27, 2022,” Mata said.
According to police, the college student, K’aun Green, was involved in a brawl at the restaurant. The student disarmed another man involved in the fight who was holding a gun, and when responding officers arrived at the scene, they saw the gun in Green’s hand. McNamara shot Green, who later recovered, police said.
When the text messages, approximately two dozen in total, were discovered during the criminal investigation into the shooting, a separate administrative investigation was launched “immediately,” according to Mata.
“These messages came to light in the last few days and hours and that officer is no longer employed with the city,” he said.
During the investigation, according to the police chief, it was also “determined that a current employee who was on the receiving end of some of the messages engaged in other concerning dialogue with the former officer.”
The unnamed employee was then placed on administrative leave, Mata said, pending an internal investigation.
CNN has reached out to McNamara for comment.
“There is zero tolerance for even a single expression of racial bias at the San José Police Department,” Mata said. “The messages were found due to the expansion of our Internal Affairs Unit’s efforts to thoroughly investigate all questionable conduct and is why we have made investments in a new early warning system.”
At this time, criminal charges in relation to the messages have not been filed “nor are anticipated at this time,” according to Mata.
“If any employee’s racial bias rears its ugly head, rest assured that I will take immediate action to ensure they are not part of this organization,” the police chief said. “I am extremely proud of the 99.9% of officers whose achievements and dedication to this community are unmatched and I will not let the actions of a few officers cloud the extraordinary work being done in our city every day.”
“There is nothing more sickening than a person in power abusing their position,” San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan said in the release.
“Assuming these allegations are upheld, he should face the full consequences of his actions,” he added.
San Jose City Manager Jennifer Maguire said in the release, “I stand with Chief Mata and all the officers of the San Jose Police Department who serve our community. There is no room for racial bias in our City.”
“Our community and workforce deserve better,” Maguire said.
Steve Slack, president of the San Jose Police Officers Association, said to CNN in an email, “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.”
Slack said the “behavior is beyond unacceptable, and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.”
“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,” he added.
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