Wednesday, December 7, 2011

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly promises probe into hateful West Indian Parade comments

'Hateful speech' is 'disturbing': Kelly

Wednesday, December 7 2011, 1:06 PM

2011  West Indian Day Parade
Ward, Jesse A. /Jesse A. Ward

The NYPD will investigate Facebook cop complaints about the 2011 West Indian Day Parade.

An NYPD investigation into racist cracks linked to the annual West Indian Day Parade identified 20 offensive remarks linked to city cops, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

“It is disturbing when anyone denigrates a community with hateful speech,” Kelly said Wednesday. “It is unacceptable when police officers do it.”

Kelly responded to revelations that dozens of people identifying themselves as city cops posted on a Facebook page dubbed “No More West Indian Day Detail.”

On the page, the purported police officers described parade-goers as “animals” and “savages” in a series of angry rants against the Labor Day event.

The police Internal Affairs Bureau is interviewing the officers linked to the 20 nasty remarks and will subpoena computer records when necessary, Kelly said.

And though First Amendment advocates said the cops could receive constitutional protection for their comments, Kelly promised to impose administrative sanctions if possible.

“The Police Department reserves the right to discipline behavior it determines to be unbecoming of a police officer or detrimental to the service, especially when it is disrespectful of communities that officers have taken an oath to protect,” Kelly said.

Critics said the racist rhetoric indicated deeper problems in the way cops deal with the city’s people of color.

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