The San Francisco Police Department has been embroiled in an ongoing scandal involving more than a dozen officers who allegedly wrote and sent racist and homophobic text messages. This week, new disturbing messages emerged from a former officer at the center of the scandal.
New Racist, Homophobic Texts Emerge In Ongoing SFPD Scandal
CNN has obtained a list of dozens of offensive texts sent to and from Officer Jason Lai, who used slurs that included a derogatory term for Hispanics, a shortened version of the n-word, and a message calling Indian people "disgusting," as well as homophobic language to refer to gay officers.
Lai's texts also made several references to "hak gwai," a derogatory Cantonese phrase for African Americans:
Lai, who was identified as Chinese by his attorney, makes several references to "hock gwai," apparently a misspelled reference to the Cantonese "hak gwai," a derogatory phrase for African Americans.
In a series of texts sent last June he describes an incident involving a "bunch of hock gwais shooting each other."
"Sprained my ankle over these barbarians," he says.
One of the suspects "went to the hospital after he got shot lol," the officer texted.
"Too bad none of them died," he added. "One less to worry about."
That's just one exchange. There's a lot more awful shit where that came from. All from Officer Lai's phone.
Don Nobles, Lai's attorney said the texts were between Lai and some of his closest friends in the department and people he met while on patrol. I struggle to understand how this is remotely relevant or excusable.
"It's hard to say any of those things in context," Noble told CNN, "but there is context to it."
Context? I'm sorry, but no. There is absolutely no context in which these exchanges are appropriate for anyone, let alone an officer of the San Francisco Fucking Police Department.
The message on Lai's phone were discovered after he was accused of raping a woman while off-duty. Investigators said they couldn't find enough evidence to charge him with sexual assault, but he was charged with illegally accessing DMV records -- the alleged victim's -- for a non-official purpose.
Lai has since resigned from the department. He is scheduled to be arraigned on May 3.
More here: 'Wild animals': Racist texts sent by San Francisco police officer, documents show