Cops suspended over video

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals “It is shameful, it is offensive, it is sexist, it is homophobic and it is racist,” said Newsom, who directed two city commissions to join the Police Department in its investigation. The matter comes almost three years after a former chief was indicted – and later cleared – in an alleged cover-up after off-duty officers wrestled with men over a bag of Mexican food. Officer Andrew Cohen, 39, who produced the videos, said he was suspended Thursday for posting inappropriate and unauthorized pictures about the department on the Internet. “I don’t know what’s going on,” Cohen told The Associated Press. “I’ve never been in trouble before.” The video spoofs were shot over more than a year, but came to the department’s attention three weeks ago after Cohen showed some clips to a member of the command staff, saying he planned to show them at the station’s Christmas party, according to Delegnes. Cohen was reportedly told “to get rid of them” and then put them up on his Web site, Inside the SFPD. All the officers involved, including a captain, worked at the Bayview Station in the city’s roughest section, an industrial area with a large minority population and high crime rate. Delegnes called the videos “extremely stupid and immature,” but said the skits reflected “the gallows humor of police work” and not the dedication or cultural views of the officers involved. He noted that the actors in the parodies included female, black and Hispanic officers. Cohen’s lawyer and longtime friend, Daniel Horowitz, said his client was slandered by officials who drew attention to the matter and took the videos out of context. “I think they wanted to be the poster children for the politically correct attitudes in the city and they misrepresented the contents of the tapes,” Horowitz said. He said Cohen had permission from the chief to produce videos while on the job “without any content review.” Capt. Rick Bruce, who formerly led the Bayview station but is currently on leave awaiting retirement, is among those under investigation. Bruce appeared in a video called “The Ladies Man,” which spoofed the television show “Charlie’s Angels.” Three gun-toting police women in T-shirts and blue jeans report to Bruce, who sits behind his desk suggestively licking his lips. Through the rest of the clip, a street person, an apparent transvestite and several others tongue their lips in a similar manner and say, “Ohhh, captain.” One of the videos, titled “A day in the life of Hamster and Big Dummy,” portrayed a pair of lazy officers ignoring several dispatches as they read the newspaper, nap in their cruiser and practice martial arts. When gunshots are reported, they race off with their lights flashing and siren wailing – only to show up at a massage parlor the driver had spotted in a magazine ad. The department last drew national attention after former Chief Earl Sanders and several top ranking officers were accused by a grand jury in February 2003 of covering up a late-night brawl between two off-duty officers and two men who refused to hand over a bag of steak fajitas. They were later cleared of conspiracy charges. Sanders retired in September 2003. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FRANCISCO – More than a dozen police officers who appeared in videos parodying life on the force were suspended without pay Thursday after the mayor and police chief blasted the vignettes as racist, sexist and homophobic. Police Chief Heather Fong took the action while investigating whether the videos were made on department time and which officers used their patrol cars and other official equipment, both violations of policy, said Gary Delegnes, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association. The department did not release the names or ranks of the officers, part of a group of 20 from the same station who were expected to be disciplined for an incident that Fong called “egregious, shameful and despicable.” The skits featured uniformed and plain clothes officers making fun of Asians, blacks, women and members of the gay and transgender communities, Mayor Gavin Newsom said. He was particularly offended by a scene showing a white officer in a patrol car running over a black homeless woman. last_img

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