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San Jose Police Officer Resigns Amid Racially Fuelled Text Messages



San Jose Police Officer Resigns Amid Racially Fuelled Text Messages

A San Jose police officer, Mark McNamara, has resigned after the discovery of “disgusting text messages that demonstrated racial bias,” according to the San Jose Police Department (SJPD). The text messages were related to a 2022 shooting incident in which Officer McNamara shot K’aun Green, a college football player who had wrestled a gun away from a perpetrator during a fight in a local taqueria.

In a statement released on Friday, the SJPD emphasized its zero-tolerance policy for racial bias expressions. San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata stated, “There is zero tolerance for even a single expression of racial bias at the San Jose Police Department.” The investigation also revealed that another SJPD employee, who received some of the messages, engaged in other concerning conversations with the former officer. The identity of this employee was not disclosed, but they were placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

In March 2022, K’aun Green, a Black 20-year-old, was involved in a fight at a San Jose taqueria when he disarmed a perpetrator who had pulled out a gun. McNamara, responding to the scene, shot Green four times as he was retreating from the taqueria.

Following the shooting, Green filed a federal lawsuit against McNamara, the SJPD, and the City of San Jose, alleging excessive force and the city’s liability in the incident.

Text messages from McNamara released by the SJPD contained racial slurs and derogatory language, revealing his racial bias. In one message, he used the phrase “clappin fools,” which Green’s lawyer explained as slang for “shooting gangsters.” Another message read, “I hate Black people.”

Green, now 22, spoke publicly for the first time during a press conference and expressed his shock and distress at the content of the text messages. He has suffered from depression since the shooting and had to sit out the entire 2022 football season. Green’s legal team is calling for accountability, including criminal prosecution for McNamara on attempted murder charges and a hate crime investigation.

San Jose Police Officer Resigns Amid Racially Fuelled Text Messages

The trial for the federal lawsuit against McNamara, SJPD, and the City of San Jose is expected to commence in Spring 2024.

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The San Jose Police Officers Association denounced McNamara’s behavior and confirmed his resignation. The association’s president, Steve Slack, strongly condemned the actions, characterizing them as “beyond unacceptable.”

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