Photo by Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images
The New York Police Department is under fire after the New York Times linked a number of its officers to an early September Facebook group that contained a host of inappropriate comments about participants in the city's annual West Indian Day Parade held during Labor Day weekend.
After its formation, the group, called "No More West Indian Day Detail," quickly grew to 1,200 members and included comments from roughly 150 people, a whopping 60 percent of whom had Facebook accounts matching the names of current New York police officers.
One commenter called the police detail tasked with working the parade "ghetto training" and another called the event "ethnic cleansing." After someone wrote "Filth" on the group wall, someone else replied: "It's not racist if it's true."
The parade has previously seen bouts of violence, including deaths of parade-goers. "Let them kill each other," wrote one commenter whose name matched that of a police officer.
A commenter identified on Facebook as NYPD officer Dan Rodney suggested, "I say we have the parade one more year, and when they all gather drop a bomb and wipe them all out." But when the NYT reached out to the officer, Rodney said that he wasn't the one who wrote the comment. "I leave my phone around sometimes," he said. "Other than that I have no comment."
The page was spotted by a lawyer from the Brooklyn Defender Services who was doing research for a case. The page was public and one conversation ran 70 printed pages but has since been deleted. The lawyer made a digital copy, which he eventually gave to the Times.
The paper notes that at times during the Facebook conversation, civilians and FDNY workers encouraged the commenting police officers’ rants. The police department said the issue would be referred to the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau.