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Cleveland Cops Put On Administrative Leave After Racist Text Messages Surface With Them Stating They 'Hate Ni*gers'

December 5. 2014


Michael Sollenberger (left) and Thomas Flanders (right)

The Cleveland Division of Police is currently embroiled in a scandal, regarding the shooting death of 12-year-old black boy, Tamir Rice, who was playing with a toy gun in the park, when officer, Timothy Loehmann, abruptly opened fire on the child. Two days later, Rice died in the hospital of his injuries. Shortly after, news of Loehmann's dismal personnel records surfaced, indicating he was forced out of another police squad, due to serious deficiencies in his performance as an officer and a troubled mental state.

A new scandal has emerged, as text messages between Cleveland police officers, Michael Sollenberge and Thomas Flanders, were packed with racial slurs. One of the text messages states, "I hate ni*gers." Another text stated, "'What do apples and black people have in common? They both hang from trees."

This comes at a time when the public (black, white, Hispanic, Indian and Asian) are protesting flagrant cases of police brutality and excessive force in America, in the fall out of the Eric Garner killing in New York, at the hands of New York Police Department officer, Daniel Pantaleo and Mike Brown's shooting death by officer Darren Wilson.

It is clear some, not all police officers have racial issues concerning minorities. People have the right to like or dislike whomever they choose, even if it is based on race. However, when it starts to interfere with your job as a public servant and you begin to treat people differently based on their race, especially in a deadly manner, this is wholly illegal and unethical. Something must be legally done within the scope of the law to stop police brutality, which is unquestionably on the rise in America, as evidenced by a number of high profile cases (some of which were covered on the Judiciary Report yesterday).


'I hate N******. That is all': Police officers who were caught 'exchanging racist texts' placed on administrative leave while full investigation is carried out

Published: 11:41 EST, 4 December 2014 | Updated: 12:48 EST, 4 December 2014 - Five deputies with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office in Ohio are under investigation for allegedly sending racist text messages. Two officers, Capt. Thomas Flanders and Detective Michael Sollenberger, have been placed on paid administrative leave while the other three – who are as yet unnamed – remain on the job while the investigation continues.

The accusations came to light after an anonymous source passed on hundreds of pages of the messages to the Dayton Unit of the NAACP. The texts, which contain a barrage of racist slurs and insensitive jokes aimed at African-Americans, were exchanged between November 2011 and January 2013 on personal cell phones. 

After conducted a three-month-long investigation to ensure their authenticity, Derrick Forward - the civil rights organization’s local president - turned the messages over to Sheriff Phil Plumber last week. The texts were exchanged between November 2011 and January 2013 on personal cell phones between the employees during working hours.

They contain a barrage of racist slurs and insensitive jokes aimed at African-Americans. One text said, 'I hate N******. That is all.' One deputy 'joked' to another: 'What do apples and black people have in common? They both hang from trees.' Another read: 'We stopped at a Walmart in Birmingham, there are a lot of Black people in Alabama. It's all Martin Luther Kings fault.'



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