Two former Southern California police officers have been accused of spray painting a swastika on the impounded car of a suspect.
On Thursday, the former Torrance police officers pleaded not guilty to the charges, reported the Associated Press.
Cody Weldin, 28, and Christopher Tomsic, 29, face felony charges of vandalism and conspiracy to commit vandalism, according to a statement from the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
The two suspects are alleged to have vandalized a Hyundai Elantra involved in suspected mail theft in January 2020.
While investigating a report of three men stealing mail from an apartment building, the two officers discovered the vehicle and believed that it was involved in the theft, according to the district attorney.
When the owner of the Hyundai picked it up at the impound lot, he discovered that a happy face had been spray painted on the passenger seat and a swastika had been painted on the backseat, reported NBC News.
According to the charges, the car’s passenger door mirror and bumper were also spray painted.
District Attorney George Gascón pledged in a statement to “[uproot] discrimination within the law enforcement ranks."
The two former officers face up to three years in prison.