A San Jose police officer, Mark McNamara, has resigned from the police department after the discovery of “disgusting text messages that demonstrated racial bias” related to a 2022 shooting incident. The messages were found during an unrelated criminal investigation into one of the officers, as confirmed by the San Jose Police Department (SJPD).
The incident in question involved a shooting in March 2022 when K’aun Green, a 20-year-old Black college football player, was at a local taqueria in San Jose. During a fight, Green wrestled a gun away from a perpetrator. McNamara, who is white, responded to the scene and shot Green four times as he was backing out of the taqueria’s door.
The text messages, released by the SJPD, included derogatory language and racial slurs used by McNamara when referring to Green and his legal team. One message contained the statement, “I hate Black people.”
Green, who has filed a federal lawsuit against McNamara, SJPD, and the City of San Jose for excessive force and related liability in the incident, shared his feelings during a press conference. He expressed his disbelief that someone could harbour such hatred based on his appearance and said he had been suffering from depression since the shooting. Green, who dreams of a career in the NFL, was unable to play during the 2022 football season.
The release of the text messages has prompted Green and his legal team to seek accountability. They are calling for criminal prosecution of McNamara on attempted murder charges and to investigate the incident as a potential hate crime.
The San Jose Police Officers Association has also condemned the behaviour, describing it as “beyond unacceptable.” McNamara, who had six years of service with the SJPD, has resigned.
The trial for the federal lawsuit against McNamara, SJPD, and the City of San Jose is expected to commence in Spring 2024.
The case highlights the importance of addressing issues of racial bias and excessive use of force within law enforcement, as well as the ongoing efforts to hold officers accountable for their actions.
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