The Torrance Police Department has again come under scrutiny over racist and homophobic text messages officers in the department shared. The recently obtained documents reveal the officers discussed lynching people and fatally shooting Black minors.
The excessively redacted documents, which were obtained by the Los Angeles Times, contained 390 “anti-Semitic, racist, homophobic or transphobic remarks” the department’s officers purportedly made between 2018 and 2020. The officers also shared racist cartoons of Black and Latino people living in the city.
Court documents revealed a group of officers mocked the family of a Black man their colleagues fatally shot. The officers exchanged those texts when Christopher DeAndre Mitchell’s family gathered at the police station to protest his killing. The deceased Black was fatally shot in 2018 after officers confronted him while he was in a stolen vehicle.
The two officers who fatally shot Mitchell reportedly partook in the conversation when the Black man’s family and supporters went to the station to protest.
“Was going to tell you all those [N-word] family members are all pissed off in front of the station,” one of the officers texted.
The documents also revealed the officers discussed what they were going to do if the names of those behind Mitchell’s shooting death were disclosed. “Gun cleaning Party at my house when they release my name??” one officer questioned.
“Yes absolutely let’s all just post in your yard with lawn chairs in a [firing] squad,” replied another.
In the wake of Mitchell’s death and the protests that ensued, the officers also discussed harming the Black man’s family as well as their supporters.
And in a separate texting incident, an officer with the department called a Black child a “nigglet.”
Some eight months ago, the Los Angeles Times initially shared a part of racist and homophobic text messages that about a dozen Torrance police officers shared. The California attorney general’s office initiated an investigation in the wake of the scandal.
Authorities are dismissing criminal cases that were handled by the officers involved in the text scandal. The city has also had to fork out over $10 million to settle lawsuits that were filed against the officers.
But most of the officers involved in the text scandal are still with the police department. There is reportedly little to also show that the department has taken strides to implement reform after the scandal came to light.