In the wake of charges being brought on Friday against two former Torrance, California police officers accused of spray painting a swastika on the impounded car of a suspect, it has been announced that 13 additional officers have been suspended over sharing hateful messages, including anti-Semitic content.
Cody Weldin, 28, and Christopher Tomsic, 29, face felony charges of vandalism and conspiracy to commit vandalism for allegedly defacing the car, according to a statement from Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.
Gascón pledged to “[uproot] discrimination within the law enforcement ranks."
The district attorney’s office said that its investigation into Weldin and Tomsic discovered that 13 other police officers in Torrance, a Los Angeles area suburb, had allegedly shared anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic messages.
The officers have been placed on administrative leave, CBS Los Angeles reported.
Torrance Mayor Pat Furey told CBS that the behavior was “sickening,” especially given that the accused were sworn to uphold the law.
Gascón told CNN: “We have seen an increase in hate crimes, not only in our own home town but around the country. And it’s unacceptable. But it becomes doubly unacceptable when we have the people that are sworn to protect all of us who engage in this behavior.”
Torrance Police Chief Jeremiah Hart promised to rid the department of discriminatory behavior.
"Let me be clear, I will aggressively pursue any form of racism, bigotry, hate or misconduct at the Torrance Police Department,” he told CBS.
Earlier in the day, the Los Angeles office of the Anti-Defamation League commended the district attorney for charging the two former officers.
“No matter the source of hate, we must stand up and denounce it,” they said in a statement. “We are heartened that these officers are facing consequences for their reported hateful actions.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)