San Jose police officer resigns after ‘disgusting’ racist text messages

By | November 7, 2023

San Jose police officer resigned after police department found numerous ‘disgusting text messages demonstrating racial bias,’ says report statement by the San Jose Police Department (SJPD). The text messages related to a 2022 shooting in which the officer shot a college football player who snatched an attacker’s gun during a fight at a local taqueria.

In the statement released Friday, SJPD identified Mark McNamara as the officer, saying the department discovered the messages during an unrelated criminal investigation involving one of its officers.

“There is no tolerance for any expression of racial bias within the San Jose Police Department,” San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata said in the statement. Chief Mata added that the investigation “also determined that a current employee who was the recipient of some of the messages engaged in dialogue regarding others with the former officer.”

The other employee, who was not identified by SJPD, was immediately placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, according to the release.

In March 2022, K’aun Green, then 20, who is Black, was at a taqueria in San Jose when a fight ensued. One of the attackers pulled out a gun, which Green knocked out of his hands. He was then shot four times by McNamara, who was responding to the scene, as Green backed toward the taqueria door.

In a message sent following the shooting, McNamara, who is white, said he was “right there applauding fools,” a term that Green’s lawyer, the rights lawyer Adanté Pointer, said to be a slang term for “shooting gangsters”.

“I’m still processing,” Green, now 22, said at a news conference on Sunday, speaking publicly for the first time since the text messages were published. “I never thought that someone could have so much hatred in their heart that they would want to kill me just because of my appearance.”

Following the shooting, Green filed a federal lawsuit against McNamara, the SJPD and the City of San Jose for excessive force and related city liability in the incident.

In another message sent by McNamara after he was deposed by Green’s legal team, he said, “I hate black people.” In the 10-page document released by SJPD containing McNamara’s text messages, he frequently used racial slurs when referring to Green and his legal team.

Green, who was a college football player at Contra Costa College and still dreams of an NFL career, said during the press conference that he had to sit out the entire 2022 football season and that he suffered from depression since the shooting.

“Honestly, it was probably the worst time of my life,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to run, jump or anything the same way. I used to be able to dunk a basketball, I can barely jump off my left leg now. Everything makes me very bad, but just because I don’t. I don’t want to suffer from depression anymore or just be that depressed, I just forced myself to play.”

“I think about it every day. Where I could be, where I would have been if this had never happened,” Green told ABC News when asked about the shooting. “There is never a night when I can sleep peacefully.”

Green and his legal team are demanding accountability following the publication of the messages.

“Officer McNamara should be criminally charged for shooting K’aun Green. He should be taken to court in handcuffs and charged with attempted murder,” Pointer said. “The United States Attorney’s Office should also investigate this unlawful, unjustified, and apparently premeditated attempted murder and consider it a hate crime for what Officer McNamara attempted and did to Mr. Green. “

Pointer also said he asked the San Jose Police Department and the city of San Jose to release all text messages related to McNamara.

“We think there are more,” he said.

The San Jose Police Association confirmed to ABC News that McNamara had resigned after six years at SJPD.

“The recent announcement of racist text messages from a former police officer is a disconcerting reminder that not everyone has the moral compass necessary to serve as a police officer,” said Steve Slack, president of the Police Association. of San Jose, in a press release. . “This behavior is beyond unacceptable and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.”

Trial in the federal lawsuit against McNamara, the SJPD and the City of San Jose is expected to begin in spring 2024.

Mark McNamara and the San Jose Police Department did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.

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