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Hateful Police E-Mails Draw Chief's Ire

April 05, 2001|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia's police chief promised Congress on Wednesday that he would swiftly punish officers who sent racist, sexist and homophobic e-mails on computers in their squad cars.

"When it comes to officers engaging in biased policing, my goal is not to rehabilitate them," Chief Charles H. Ramsey told a House subcommittee. "My goal is to fire them."

A police investigation last month revealed that some officers had been sending car-to-car e-mail messages that contained profanity, homophobic or sexually explicit and other inappropriate language.

Ramsey told the subcommittee on the district that he initiated the probe after learning that other police departments had experienced similar problems. He said a sampling of the e-mails was "truly shocking."

The Police Department and the Justice Department have been going through more than 4 million e-mail messages sent over mobile computers since 1999. Ramsey said justice officials are looking for possible civil rights violations.

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