Police: Calif. officer involved in controversial shooting sent racist texts

San Jose, Calif., Police Chief Anthony Mata said police officer involved in a controversial shooting last year resigned when the department uncovered 10 pages of racist texts he sent. Photo courtesy San Jose Police Department

Nov. 5 (UPI) -- A San Jose, Calif., police officer involved in a controversial shooting last year resigned when the department uncovered 10 pages of racist texts he sent, Police Chief Anthony Mata said Friday.

Mark McNamara texted comments that included "I hate Black people" and "Why don't Black people have any sense in their head?", along with other racist and derogatory comments, to another department employee, Mata said.

Many of the texts were sent March 28, 2022, a day after McNamara shot college student K'uan Green. Green had disarmed a man involved in a fight at a restaurant and was still holding the gun when police arrived. McNamara shot Green four times. Green, then a football player at Contra Costa College, was taken into emergency surgery after sustaining injuries to his abdomen, leg and arm.

Later texts, sent June 21 and 23, appeared to reference interactions with the City Attorney's Office and Green's legal team, which sued the city over the shooting.

"I finally had to tell this city attorney what's what," one text read. "I'm like dude, I don't give a (expletive) about this case. I'm white, he's black, he's gonna win. AND I DONT CARE. It's like (expletive) whatever they decide has no bearing on me what so ever. It's basically kangaroo court."

In another text, McNamara referenced Green's legal team, saying they "should all be bowing to me and bringing me gifts since I saved a fellow (racist comment) by making him rich as (expletive). Otherwise, he woulda lived a life of poverty and crime."

Mata said the texts were uncovered by the Internal Affairs Unit during an unrelated criminal investigation. He said he could not disclose the nature of the criminal investigation but "criminal charges have not been filed nor are anticipated at this time."

"The messages were found due to the expansion of our Internal Affairs Unit's efforts to thoroughly investigate all questionable conduct and is why we have made investments in a new early warning system," Mata said. "I made it clear last year when I expanded our investigation systems that we would be proactive and transparent in identifying patterns of policy violations. This is the promised accountability resulting from that work."

Mata also said the employee who received the texts "engaged in other concerning dialogue with the former officer" and was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation. City leaders said they back Mata's decisions in the case.

"There is nothing more sickening than a person in power abusing their position," Mayor Matt Mahan said.

"I will sleep better tonight knowing that this individual is no longer carrying a badge and gun. Assuming these allegations are upheld, he should face the full consequences of his actions. Despite this officer's reprehensible conduct, we have the best police department in the nation and to keep it that way, we are going to fire any employee who does not show appropriate respect for every resident."