(PHILADELPHIA, PA, 6/21/19) — The Philadelphia Chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Philadelphia), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today expressed its support for Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner Richard Ross’ decision to discipline 72 officers identified as having posted racist and anti-Muslim messages on social media.
As previously reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Plain View Project published a database compiling racist Facebook posts from law enforcement officials across eight local jurisdictions. The database included posts and/or comments from 330 active Philadelphia police officers, including 15 at or above the rank of lieutenant. These revelations led to further investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau.
Commissioner Ross announced on Wednesday that his department removed 72 officers from street duty. The Philadelphia Police Department has yet to name the offending officers but has committed to continue its investigation into the posts.
In a statement, CAIR-Philadelphia Civil Rights Attorney Timothy Welbeck said:
“The officers who made these statements are not fit to serve and protect the citizens of Philadelphia. The revelations confirm what many have observed empirically and anecdotally: white nationalists and bigots have infiltrated the Philadelphia Police Department and law enforcement agencies across the country. This is a dangerous reality. We demand continued investigation and the firing of the offending officers. CAIR-Philadelphia stands ready to assist the Philadelphia Police Department in working to eliminate all forms of bigotry, but especially anti-Muslim hate.”
He noted that CAIR-Philadelphia has conducted hundreds of free anti-bias workshops and trainings across the Greater Delaware Valley Region for a wide range of both public and private institutions, including colleges and high schools, churches and synagogues, government agencies, private businesses and corporations.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
CONTACT: CAIR-Philadelphia Staff Attorney Timothy Welbeck, Esq., 267-515-6712, CELL: 215.876.2208, firstname.lastname@example.org