A Los Angeles Sheriff Was Caught Forwarding Racist Emails, but Hasn't Been Punished

April 27th 2016

Alex Mierjeski

A top official at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is under fire for forwarding emails containing racist and bigoted jokes about minority communities in a previous job in a nearby police department, The Los Angeles Times is reporting. Angel had not been disciplined in any way for these emails, as of press time.

In 2012 and 2013, Tom Angel, who currently serves as the LA Country sheriff's chief of staff, was the No. 2 police official in Burbank. According to The Times, Angel was brought on to address allegations of police brutality, racism, and sexual harassment at Burbank P.D.

But in messages passed along through Angel's work email, he repeatedly mocks minority groups, including Black people, Mexican Americans and Muslims.

Racist Email LACS

"I took my Biology exam last Friday," one forwarded email read. "I was asked to name two things commonly found in cells. Apparently 'Blacks' and 'Mexicans' were NOT the correct answers."

In another email obtained by The Times through a public records request, concerns about profiling of Muslim communities were brushed aside in a list of reasons "Muslim Terrorists are so quick to commit suicide." That list included lines about Muslims wearing "Towels for hats," "Constant wailing from some idiot in a tower," and "You can't wash off the smell of donkey."

Islamaphobic emails from LASC

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department declined to comment, and told ATTN: that they were currently looking into the emails.

Angel told The Times that it was unfortunate the public had access to his work emails, and that he did not mean to embarrass or demean anyone.

The emails reinforce concerns that biases and profiling not only exist within police departments, but are not taken seriously when they are investigated — and not just in Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, an officer from the San Francisco Police Department resigned after being caught sending dozens of racist text messages to fellow officers and friends, including, "I hate that beaner but I think the nig is worse." Emails exchanged between officials in Ferguson, Mo., were also found to include racist or derogatory messages.

Read the full story over at the Los Angeles Times.