20 Percent of Cops Post Racist/Violent Content on Their Social Media

Whenever the subjects of racism and police brutality come up, the defense you’re most likely to hear is not to lump the entirety of police officers with “a few bad apples.” However, there’s new evidence to suggest that racism may be a fairly common trait amongst cops rather than some rogue element unworthy of scrutiny.

Attorney Emily Baker-White started the Plain View Project, a database that compiles public Facebook posts by officers throughout the country. Between the nearly 3,000 cops unwittingly selected for this project, Baker-White found over 5,000 posts that “could undermine public trust in the police and reinforce the views of critics, specially in minority communities, that the police are not there to protect them.”

In other words, she found all sorts of content that’s racist, promotes violence and dismisses the due process cops swear to uphold. Some examples from Buzzfeed News:

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Altogether, roughly one in five of the cops monitored shared these offensive thoughts for the world to see – way more than the few bad apples. That suggests that prejudice and abuse of power are a lot more prevalent within police forces than people would like to believe.

The project also looked at the Facebook accounts of about 800 retired officers, and the rate of troublesome posts shot to two in five. That may be attributed to the fact that the retired officers are from an older generation or maybe they’re just unafraid to post their true feelings now that they don’t have jobs they’re trying to keep.

Another thing to remember is that the posts collected are just the ones that cops made available publicly. It really makes you wonder what kind of content you’d see from the majority of Facebook users who keep their accounts private (or friends only.)

Injustice Watch, a non-partisan organization that looks at systemic failures pertaining to justice and equality, used PVP’s database to look specifically at the cops with flagged content in Philadelphia. By examining their internal records, the group found that over a third of them had at least one federal civil rights lawsuit filed against them, with the vast majority resulting in a verdict or settlement against them/the city.

To make matters worse, some of these posts were by commanding officers, not just the lower level players. The idea that police leadership would share racist, antagonistic content suggests the problem could be coming from the top down, too.

In light of this incriminating evidence, it’s only appropriate for police departments to start looking inward at the biases of its officers. If the duty is to protect and serve, officers are not fulfilling that mission when they publicly deride certain groups of people and celebrate violence rather than considering it a rare and unfortunate part of the job.

63 comments

danii p
danii p5 hours ago

Tyfs

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danii p
danii p5 hours ago

Tyfs

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Ben O
Ben O5 days ago

They should be fired...ALL of them!

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Maria P
Maria P6 days ago

Thanks for this

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Freya H
Freya H7 days ago

These @$$holes give law enforcement a bad name. They encourage fear and hatred of cops. Many police officers still believe in "Protect and Serve," but it takes only a few bad apples to make the entire bushel seem bad. Apparently we need better screening of potential cops, as well as more training in tolerance and cultural sensitivity.

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RONALD Walker
RONALD W7 days ago

Why would anyone be surprised? With all the cop show an how they work outside the law. Some cops believe they can too. Now there is no scientific data to prove what I just have written. Sorry. The fact is. It's seen almost on a daily basis on the news. The same with tRump. He must bad-mouth someone on tweeter.

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Brian F
Brian F8 days ago

Rhoberta E It's very rare that a police officer ever is even charged with a crime when they brutalize and kill innocent people. I don't know if you would want to call a police officer after that Australian women was shot and killed when she approached the car after calling the police. In addition most police officers support the criminalization of marijuana and hemp which for 80 years has cost us jobs. Not all cops are corrupt but they all refuse to criticize the ones who are corrupt, so by that extension, they are all corrupt and observe the Blue Wall of Silence.

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Carole R
Carole R8 days ago

Very sad.

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Sara S
Sara S8 days ago

tyfs

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E8 days ago

brian f
Well I guess if YOU ever need an officer, you'd better call ghostbusters. ALL your posts on this article are negative and degrading to those officers who ARE good and DO follow the law.
Seems like Karen and Ed O are right. It's very sad to see you here on C2 and mostly you are about hate, wrong doing and whining about who's fault it must be. Very sad.

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