In New York City, the commander of the police department’s Equal Employment Opportunity Division was just suspended for repeated unhinged racist rants on a law enforcement discussion board.
For more than 20 years, an online chat board called the Rant has been the place where New York City police officers have gone in secret to complain about their jobs — not infrequently using blatantly racist and misogynistic language.
But even by the website’s vitriolic standards, scores of recent posts by a user who calls himself “Clouseau” have been especially disturbing.
Between the summer of 2019 and earlier this fall, “Clouseau” posted hundreds of messages on the Rant, many of which attacked Black people, Puerto Ricans, Hasidic Jews and others with an unbridled sense of animus.
He referred to former President Barack Obama as a “Muslim savage” and called the Bronx district attorney, Darcel D. Clark, who is Black, “a gap-toothed wildebeest.”
Now, city investigators say they have amassed evidence that “Clouseau” is a high-ranking police official. And not just any high-ranking official — the one assigned to an office responsible for combating workplace harassment in the Police Department.
The police official, Deputy Inspector James F. Kobel, adamantly denied that he had written the racist messages. The posts have been taken down since the Council began its inquiry, and the profile deleted.
Inspector Kobel denied the allegations to his superiors, a police official said. But on Thursday, he was relieved of his command of the Equal Employment Opportunity Division and placed on modified assignment pending completion of the department inquiry.
“That is a drastic step, but we thought it was the appropriate step due to the nature of his given assignment as well as the allegations and what we have learned thus far,” the police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea, said. He added that the comments posted by “Clouseau” were “utterly disgusting.”
This guy is a deputy inspector. They would not be going after him so aggressively unless they had him dead to rights on this. (The cynic in me considers the possibility that he is being taken down to prevent evidence of law enforcement misconduct from becoming public).
BTW, there is no reason that the rant should not be routinely monitored by internal affairs and civil rights and EEOC staffers.
A racist garbage man can screw up your recyclables, but a racist cop can make you dead.