Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole is warning the city’s officers about making racist rants on social media, reports the Seattle Times. She has put two officers on paid leave after inflammatory comments appeared under their names on Facebook and Twitter. Officer Cynthia Whitlatch, accused of bullying an African American man who was taking a walk with a golf club, was put on leave as a result of racially charged comments on her Facebook page. Officer Sam Byrd got the same treatment Friday after a weekly Seattle newspaper, The Stranger, reported his rants about gays, Mexicans and blacks.
In an email sent to all members of the police department, O’Toole said such comments by officers “undermine community trust, the reputation of the SPD and the outstanding work of many professional, hardworking officers.” She said, “I will continue to take decisive action against this type of behavior. I expect all SPD members to demonstrate professionalism, common sense and good judgment. “