Police departments in at least five states are investigating their officers’ social media feeds after the weekend publication of a database that appears to catalogue thousands of inflammatory posts by active-duty and former cops.
The posts were uncovered by a team of researchers who spent two years looking at the personal Facebook accounts of police officers from Arizona to Florida.
They found officers bashing immigrants and Islam, promoting racist stereotypes, identifying with right-wing militia groups and, especially, glorifying police brutality. All the posts were public.
Researchers looked at law enforcement agencies in Philadelphia; Phoenix; St. Louis; Dallas; Dennison, Texas; York, Pennsylvania; Lake County, Florida; and Twin Falls, Idaho.
Most of the departments said this week they are launching investigations into their officers’ Facebook presences, and discipline is possible.