Three Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police officers were fired and one resigned over their involvement in a racially charged video and text messages, Police Chief Frank Adderley said at a press conference Friday.
The video uses the n-word, shows images of Ku Klux Klan hoods and features a derogatory image of President Obama. It is produced to appear like a movie trailer, with flashy title screens and dramatic music.
The officers who were fired are James Wells, Jason Holding and Christopher Sousa. The officer who resigned was Alex Alvarez, who created the racially biased video, according to Adderley.
Adderley called the cops’ behavior “inexcusable,” adding, “there is zero tolerance for this type of behavior within the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.” Adderley said there was no criminal behavior found in an internal affairs investigation into the officers.
“I am very disappointed, disgusted and shocked by this incident,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler said at the news conference.
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department has instituted a mandatory, annual diversity class for cops on the force, according to NBC affiliate WTVJ.
“This report proves that some Fort Lauderdale police officers have been routinely engaging in racially discriminatory behavior and cannot be trusted to serve and protect all citizens,” Adora Nweze, president of the Florida NAACP State Conference, said in a statement, adding, “The Florida State Conference will not delay in taking immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action to transform this police department into a fairer and more just entity. “
“From Ferguson, Missouri to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, misconduct is running rampant in many of our nation’s police departments,” Kevin Myles, NAACP national field director for the eastern division, said in a statement, adding, “The NAACP remains committed to continuing our fight against racial profiling, police brutality and corrupt policing. The NAACP Florida State Conference and Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Branch will work with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department to ensure that the findings from this report lead to significant change in the city’s. criminal justice system.”