The Citizens Police Oversight Commission (CPOC) has been made aware of an incident alleging that a lieutenant in the Philadelphia Police Department used a racial slur while working in their official capacity as a member of the police department. The preliminary information suggests that while communicating over the police department’s designated radio transmission line, the lieutenant made the disparaging remark. Although the investigation into these allegations are ongoing, CPOC is in touch with the Philadelphia Police Department command staff and is monitoring the response to this incident as it unfolds. At this point, CPOC is confident that this incident will be resolved justly and swiftly.

As the investigation unfolds, one thing is abundantly clear; the use of racial slurs and the individuals who speak them cannot and will not be tolerated. Racism and prejudice have no place in policing, and CPOC will work to ensure that the Philadelphia Police Department does not offer a safe harbor to any officer who uses such language or engages in any other patently offensive conduct.

Incidents like this, further erode the already fragile foundation of trust between the community and the Police department. Often, we hear words like “transparency” and “accountability.” However, those words rang hollow if our law enforcement officials act to the contrary when they think that no one is watching or listening. The Philadelphia Police Department has an opportunity to show the citizens of Philadelphia who they are as a department. To that extent, CPOC will ensure that community standards and expectations are met.

CPOC will keep the community informed throughout this process and will ensure transparency and accountability as this investigation progresses.