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Phoenix Cops Bash Muslims, Call Black People Thugs in Shocking Facebook Posts

Hundreds of shocking social media posts made by Phoenix police officers are included in the Plain View Project, a database launched over the weekend and created by a team of Philadelphia attorneys in an effort to catalog bigotry and racism among police officers nationwide.

Taken together, the posts reveal a chilling culture of intolerance and prejudice among Phoenix police officers, who frequently referred to black people as "thugs," called for violence against protesters, denounced Muslims as rapists, and joked about refusing to help citizens who criticized the police.

In response to questions from Phoenix New Times and other media outlets, Phoenix police Sergeant Vincent Lewis said in a statement on Monday evening that the department is investigating the database for possible policy violations.

"Many have asked for a response to an online database concerning social media posts from police officers in various cities, including Phoenix," Lewis said. "One such name was brought to our attention earlier in the year when the publication was researching their article. This particular inquiry was reviewed by our Professional Standards Bureau and did not rise to the level of misconduct on the part of the employee. The department is aware of the remaining report now available to us online and will be looking into other potential misconduct by current employees."

Reuben Carver III, the only Phoenix police officer who was mentioned in national stories about the database by BuzzFeed and The New York Times, wrote on Facebook in 2011, "It's a good day for a chokehold."

Carver is the employee who Lewis said was not disciplined for his posts.

Carver continued to share posts that year and in 2012 showing a fondness for violence. He shared one photo of a man punching another man on Facebook captioned, "Punch hippies in their dumb monkey faces" and another photo of a cop pepper-spraying a sitting crowd captioned, "Don't mind me, just watering my hippies."

Many Phoenix cops shared posts and comments celebrating violence against protesters.

Update: At 9:35 p.m. on Monday, June 3, Phoenix police shared a statement from Chief Jeri Williams stating: "I became aware of the entire website today which alleges misconduct by current and former Phoenix Police officers. The language and terminology used in the posts are embarrassing and disturbing."

"They completely contradict how the Phoenix Police Department should speak about the members of our community or others. Nor are these posts in keeping with our mission and values as city of Phoenix employees," said Williams. "I have high expectations for the men and women who work with me. When potential misconduct is brought to my attention, it is immediately addressed. I have asked our Professional Standards Bureau to look further into this matter."

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