The Citizens Police Oversight Commission (CPOC) has been made aware of an incident alleging that a Philadelphia Police Department lieutenant used a racial slur while working in an official capacity as a member of the police department. Preliminary information suggests that while communicating on the police department’s designated radio transmission line, the lieutenant made the derogatory remark. While the investigation into these allegations is ongoing, the CPOC is in contact with Philadelphia Police Department command personnel and is monitoring the response to this incident as it unfolds. At this point, the CPOC is confident that this incident will be resolved fairly and expeditiously.
As the investigation unfolds, one thing is abundantly clear; the use of racial slurs and the people who utter them cannot and will not be tolerated. Racism and bias have no place in policing, and CPOC will work to ensure that the Philadelphia Police Department does not provide sanctuary to any officer who uses such language or who engage in any other obviously offensive conduct.
Incidents like this further erode the already fragile foundation of trust between the community and the police department. Often we hear words like “transparency” and “accountability”. However, those words ring hollow if our law enforcement officials act in reverse when they think no one is watching or listening. The Philadelphia Police Department has an opportunity to show the citizens of Philadelphia who they are as a department. To this extent, the CPOC will ensure that community standards and expectations are met.
The CPOC will keep the community informed throughout this process and ensure transparency and accountability as this investigation progresses.