Racist graffiti found in Philadelphia police station

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross (center) and deputies at City Council hearing (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross (center) and deputies at City Council hearing (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia police investigating racist graffiti in a Point Breeze police station said the perpetrator could be one of their own.

The “evil” slur was found on a bathroom wall in the 17th Police District station, said Police Commissioner Richard Ross Tuesday.

“There was some racial epithets, written on the wall looking like it was certainly aimed at African-Americans and Latinos,” he said. “It’s absolutely despicable that somebody, I don’t begin to know who, but you better believe we are going to find out who it was. We have no patience or tolerance for any of that in our ranks.”

The area is secured, so the culprit must be a member of the force or support staff, Ross said.

“It always perplexes me that people in businesses like police, fire, the military who rely on each other for support and backup could ever resort to that type of mindset,” he added.

After two black men were arrested and removed from a Center City Starbucks while waiting for a friend last month, Ross testified at City Council hearings that he’s redoubling efforts to train officers to recognize how race can affect the way they do their jobs.

“There is absolutely no surefire way, but I will tell you we have an absolute commitment to make it better,” he said. “Do we have a long way to go? Absolutely, but I would submit to you most police departments do.”

A major part of the training for new officers will be walking a beat to understand a neighborhood from the ground level.

“In addition to them going out on the streets on footbeats and the like, the commanders have a requirement to have them introduced to key stakeholders in the areas where they are going to walk a footbeat,” Ross said.

 

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