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Durham police to discuss officers' Facebook comments

Posted December 12, 2008

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— Durham police commanders said they would release the findings Friday of an internal investigation into whether officers posted offensive comments on the Internet after the presidential election.

An unknown number of officers were accused of posting derogatory comments on their personal Facebook pages shortly after President-elect Barack Obama’s win Nov. 4.

Police leaders were expected to release a copy of the Facebook pages so the public can decide if there were inappropriate postings.

The Durham chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has demanded more information, charging that public trust in the department has been hurt.

“Everybody is trying to say there is an inference, but we don’t know what that inference is,” Durham NAACP president Fred Foster said.

Police have not elaborated on what words might have been used in the postings or stated the race of the officers.

Foster said there is distrust among some people who feel the officers might not be able to objectively serve the community.

“There is an area of trust that has been violated or at least been damaged,” he said.

Foster said that an officer or officers posted inappropriate comments, he wants the police department take action against them.

A statement released by the police department reads: "Ethnic, racist or sexist comments are not tolerated in the Durham Police Department. The Department has a code of conduct and regulations that put officers on notice that high standards of conduct are required and expected both on and off duty."

The statement went on to say that if the allegations are sustained, the department would take appropriate action.


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  • endless Dec 12, 2008

    TH - if you are a police officer - you also represent the police department and town/community/state and those people!

  • barkleylee Dec 12, 2008

    Here is something to chew on: it is a psychological FACT that human beings like some people better than other people. The three factors that influence who a person likes are physical attractiveness, proximity, and similarity. We like good looking people who live near us and who look and behave like us. Therefore, even if we are FORCED to PRETEND that we like EVERYONE, it is a scientifically proven fact that we DON'T like people who are different and foreign from ourselves. Whites like whites better, and blacks like blacks better. Black officers are biased against white citizens, white officers are biased against black citizens, period. People who claim otherwise are lying or denying the facts of human psychology.

  • JMackneil Dec 12, 2008

    Hey blackdog (his screen name) we are not elected officials! We can have our opinion of anyone-we are human. Comments in check? You have no idea. I represent one person-MYSELF.

  • gow1986 Dec 12, 2008

    Well I warned people before the election that if Obama won, we would have at least 4 years of suppresion of free speech. Nobody who is white will be allowed to make any criticisms of Obama or his policies without being "a racist." Boy this is going to be fun!

    For you politcally correct people - Merry Christmas!

  • barkleylee Dec 12, 2008

    Job vacancy - Several law enforcement officer positions available, Durham PD, Durham, NC. Brainless, heartless cyborgs preferred. Human beings need not apply.

  • greentara Dec 12, 2008

    I thought it was Facebook, not Myspace?

  • barkleylee Dec 12, 2008

    Anyone who speaks negatively about Obama should be imprisoned for life.

  • agentm Dec 12, 2008

    Once again another case how people justify and think acts like this is ok....nc state thing oh it was just some drunk college kids now this ...what is the exscue now???? it is a different of freedom of speech and making comments like this and people still justify their acts.....they are in public service so you have to watch what you do.

  • bill0 Dec 12, 2008

    The N&O is reporting some of the comments now. Apparently, one of the officers typed "this is what we get for passing the 14th Amendment." For those keeping score at home, the 14th amendment gave citizenship rights to freed slaves after the civil war and repealed the idea that blacks were worth 3/5 of a person for voting purposes. Not cool if that is what he meant.

    Apparently his defense was that he actually meant the 19th amendment and was teasing his girlfriend. His girlfriend apparently was pro-obama and the 19th amendment gave women the right to vote. Seems like a reasonable explanation for a lame joke.

    Either way, the comments seem pretty tame and certainly shouldn't be cause for firing him. I'm sure there are some racists cops out there, but this doesn't seem to be one of them.

  • blackdog Dec 12, 2008

    When you are sworn in to serve and protect the people as a public servant, your personal comments should be held in check. If you are not able to, you should not serve as a representative of all people.