The police union’s former head is downplaying the severity of allegations that another officer faces backlash for allegedly voicing racial slurs in front of others officers in the Bayview Station.
In an unusual move Friday, the Police Department announced disciplinary charges against an officer who made racial and sexually derogatory remarks, but did not name the officer in its statement.
The San Francisco Examiner learned Monday that Sgt. Lawrence Kempinski, who has been with the department since 2001, made the alleged comments and has since been placed on modified duty.
Gary Delagnes, former union president and political consultant, wrote on his Facebook page Saturday that the incident has been overblown and Kempinksi has become a scapegoat for the department.
Kempinski reportedly said in February inside the station that he came to the Bayview, the location of The City’s largest black community, to “kill n—-rs,” and was overheard by two officers who then reported him. An investigation ensued and charges were filed directly with the Police Commission, with a recommendation up to and including firing.
“A couple of months ago one of our officers made a comment in the lunchroom at Bayview Station that he should not have made. It wasn’t smart but it certainly wasn’t anything egregious enough to warrant any kind of discipline,” wrote Delagnes. “Two other officers who heard the statement immediately raced to their superiors and snitched him off as our officers are now taught to do.”
Delagnes wrote that Kempinski “said nothing that would merit this abuse and the department should be very proud that they have made this poor guy a scapegoat to satisfy the cop haters out there…This officer did nothing wrong other then making an ill advised statement and now they want to hang him and then brag about it to the media… Disgusting!”
Delagnes called the new department effort, known as “Not On My Watch” and encourages officers to report to bad behavior, a plan to encourage “snitches.”
But the worst part of how the case has been dealt with, wrote Delagnes, was “that the department felt as though they needed to boast about the incident by issuing a press release to the media applauding the officers for turning in their co-worker and proudly declaring they will punish this offer to the fullest extent possible.”
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