The Dallas Police Department has been rocked this week by two separate internal probes that led to discipline against 35 officers, according to reports in The Dallas Morning News.
Most recently, on Thursday, 13 officers were disciplined for offensive social media posts that allegedly included Islamophobic comments, racial stereotypes and jokes about police brutality.
The exact nature or wording of the posts was not immediately clear.
The investigation was sparked last July when the Plain View Project, a watchdog group, issued a report about Facebook posts made by officers in eight different police departments, including Dallas, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
Officers are “free to express themselves as private citizens on social media sites,” according to department policy, which also requires posts not “negatively affect the public perception of the Department.”
Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall released a statement noting virtually everything her officers do has a ripple effect within the entire community.
“It is imperative that we operate with the highest level of ethics and integrity to ensure that the public is confident in the legitimacy of who we are as a law enforcement agency,” she said.
Thursday’s discipline, which in some cases included suspensions without pay, came a day after the department announced 22 former vice department officers had been reprimanded. The reprimands came after a three-year investigation into the disbanded outfit ruled there was insufficient evidence for any criminal prosecutions.