Alleged Cop Facebook Posts Ripping West Indian Parade-Goers Prompt NYPD Probe

Chief NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told New York Times he would refer the matter to Internal Affairs.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the NYPD is looking into a video that shows police officers dancing suggestively while on duty at the West Indian Day Parade. (Published Tuesday, Sep 13, 2011)

    The New York City Police Department plans to look into whether dozens of police officers posted inflammatory comments about West Indian parade-goers on Facebook over the course of a few days in September. 

    Identifying themselves as police officers, the posters referred to the revelers as “animals” and “savages,” according to The New York Times

    The paper gained access to the group page -- entitled "No More West Indian Day Detail" -- before it was taken down in September. It had previously been viewable by anyone with a Facebook account. 

    One of the posts read, “Let them kill each other” and another called for a bomb to be dropped on the parade-goers and “wipe them all out,” reports the Times.

    Chief NYPD spokesman Paul Browne told the paper he would refer the matter to Internal Affairs. 

    One of the posters who identified himself as a police officer told the Daily News his Facebook account had been hacked and he was not responsible for the comments posted under his name. 

    While it can’t be known for certain if the posters who call themselves cops are indeed police officers, the Times said it compared the names of some of the 150-plus people who posted comments on the page with city employment records and found more than 60 percent of the posters’ names matched the names of police. Browne didn’t refute they were officers' names. 

    Public Advocate Bill de Blasio condemned the language used in the posts and called for an immediate investigation into their scribers.

    "The officers who have allegedly made these derogatory and disgusting remarks, directed at African-American and West Indian New Yorkers, are an embarrassment to the NYPD and its maxim of courtesy, professionalism and respect," de Blasio said. "No one can consider him or herself a public servant who thinks and speaks this way. If these allegations are substantiated, the officers involved must face the strongest possible discipline."

    Brooklyn's annual West Indian Day Parade is a notoriously raucous affair, with revelers celebrating all weekend before flocking to Eastern Parkway for the parade on Labor Day. 

    This year's parade was particularly rowdy, with NYPD officers appearing to get in on the excitement. A video taken during the event and later posted on YouTube shows several NYPD officers who appeared to be working the route grinding with barely clothed women in parade garb. 

    The parade also turned violent this year, with at least two reported shootings at different points along the route.