SFPD Sgt. Lawrence Kempinski, a 17-year veteran who most recently worked in the Bayview Station, is accused of making remarks in front of other officers.

SFPD Sgt. Lawrence Kempinski, a 17-year veteran who most recently worked in the Bayview Station, is accused of making remarks in front of other officers.

SFPD sergeant facing discipline for alleged racial comment retires

A San Francisco police sergeant who faced disciplinary charges for allegedly making racist remarks inside a police station quietly retired June 10, according to city records.

That means Sgt. Lawrence Kempinski, a 17-year veteran of the force, will not face disciplinary charges up to and including dismissal, which would have been attached to his record when applying for a job with another department.

Kempinski’s salary as of May was $139,360. With his time in the department, he will receive about 50 percent of his current salary or about $70,000 a year.

The issue was brought up June 30 at a meeting between Interim Chief Toney Chaplin and the Mario Woods Coalition, among others.

At the event, Gwen Woods — the mother of Mario Woods, who was fatally shot by police in December — asked Chaplin what had happened to Kempinski, according to a video of the meeting posted on YouTube.

“Where is Kempinski? Is he fired? Because guess what, he had friends and they are on that force too,” she said.

While the chief could not comment directly on the case, he did speak generally.

“Gwen is absolutely right,” he said. “My recommendation is termination for folks with those issues.”

He apparently did not tell Woods or those gathered that Kempinski had already retired.

The department, under fire in recent months for a series of scandals including racist text messages sent by officers, in an unusual move released information about the incident involving Kempinski.

In early February the department learned Kempinski had used language with sexual and racial undertones while working at the Bayview Station, which was reported by two witnesses.

Kempinski was disarmed and reassigned to a position without public contact while an investigation ensued. In early April, former Police Chief Greg Suhr suspended Kempinski and forwarded the case to the Police Commission with a recommendation that Kempinski face discipline, including possible termination.


Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeink
Bayview StationCrimeMario Woodspolice biaspolice reformSan Francisco PoliceSFPDToney Chaplin

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