SAN JOSE, CA – A Northern California officer suspended for posting inflammatory comments on social media that were critical of vocal and sometime-violent police abuse demonstrations is no longer on the force.
A San Jose Police Sgt. Enrique Garcia confirmed Thursday that Phillip White no longer works for the department but declined to say if he was fired or resigned. White didn’t return a phone call.
The department suspended him on Dec. 15 after an online news site reported the tweets amid heightened tensions across the country between police and communities of color.
“Threaten me or my family and I will use my God given and law appointed right and duty to kill you,” one tweet stated with the hashtag “#CopsLivesMatter.” Another tweet said he was off duty, attending a movie and would be armed.
“By the way if anyone feels they can’t breathe or their lives matter I’ll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my gun.”
Community activists demanded his dismissal and the department and the police union condemned the posts. The San Jose Police Officers’ Association didn’t return a phone call Thursday.
The Santa Clara County district attorney’s office looked into the matter but declined to file criminal charges. Nearby Menlo College where White was an assistant basketball coach cut ties with him.
White was a 20-year veteran of the department who taught gang prevention classes to elementary school students.
The San Jose Mercury News first reported White’s departure from the department.
From The Associated Press