SEATTLE — A Seattle police officer has been terminated for using a racial slur to refer to a Black individual he had made contact with during a call last spring.
The Office of Police Accountability (OPA) started investigating the incident, which occurred on March 31, 2020, after three of the officer's coworkers reported it to their superiors.
The officer made the racial slur while talking to three of his fellow officers about a trespassing incident they responded to days prior. The officer used the slur to refer to the Black individual they had made contact with during the call, according to the OPA report released in September of last year and obtained by KING 5 this weekend.
The witnessing officers told the officer the term was racist and the officer reportedly denied it and walked away, according to the report. The witnessing officers did not immediately report the statement, but after discussing the matter together, they decided they had no choice but to report it, the report said.
The OPA interviewed the witnessing officers as well as the officer who said the slur. According to the report, the officer initially said he did not know that the term he used was racist, but upon researching it later, he agreed it was racist.
The OPA found the officer violated the Seattle Police Department's policies for bias-free policing and professional conduct.
The officer was terminated on Nov. 5, 2020.
The Seattle Police Department issued the following statement to KING 5:
"The Seattle Police Department is committed to building true and lasting trust and respect with every member of our community. Chief Adrian Diaz has made it abundantly clear the Seattle Police Department will not tolerate any actions or statements by its members that undermines this trust. There is no explanation that could legitimize the language the terminated officer admitted to using. It was unacceptable and does not reflect the values or mission of the Seattle Police Department."