A Boston, M.A. police officer, Joseph DeAngelo Jr., has been suspended for six months without pay for a racially charged video he created and shared. After his unpaid suspension, he will also be made to serve another six months on probation and undergo “significant” unconscious bias retraining. The suspension was announced by Boston’s Police Commissioner, William B. Evans.
DeAngelo Jr. has been a patrolman for over 4 years. He created and shared a video among friends that he said was meant as a spoof on another cop, Officer Dennis Leahy. The video contained racist remarks and text at the end that read, “This summer, black people have met their match.”
An investigation was done and officer Leahy, who was put on paid administrative leave, was returned to work. He was cleared of any wrongdoing because he was unaware of the video.
During the investigation, DeAngelo admitted to making the video. The Police Commissioner called DeAngelo’s actions “clearly insensitive and immature behavior. It was clear from Officer DeAngelo’s interview that he feels significant remorse for his actions and now realizes the impact this video has had on our community. Officer DeAngelo readily admitted to the conduct and has fully taken responsibility for his actions.”
DeAngelo wrote the following open letter of apology: “To my family, my friends, my police department co-workers who I have embarrassed, and the people of the City of Boston, I offer a deep and sincere apology for the thoughtless, childish, insensitive, and offensive racial references contained in a video I made attempting to poke fun at a longtime friend and coworker,” DeAngelo wrote. “I was taught by my parents at a young age to respect people of all races, colors, and religions and was taught that all people, no matter what they look like or where they come from, should be treated the same…We all make mistakes in life, and some are bigger than others. I made a big one and ask for your forgiveness.”
The Superintendent in Chief, William Gross said, “We fully expect our officers should be sensitive to the needs and history of every citizen in Boston that we serve. This is a teachable moment. We still have work to do to address unconscious and implicit bias. We’re willing to do that with the public.”