A now-defunct private Facebook group made up of police officers in the Pittsburgh area was a hotbed for racism and transphobia, according to the Associated Press. In it, “many current and retired officers spent the year criticizing chiefs who took a knee or officers who marched with Black Lives Matter protesters, whom they called ‘terrorists’ or ‘thugs,’” reported the AP, which was able to view posts and comments in the 2,200-member group before it was taken down last week. “They made transphobic posts and bullied members who supported anti-police brutality protesters or Joe Biden in a forum billed as a place officers can ‘decompress, rant, share ideas.’”
One post by a West Mifflin Borough cop took aim at Webster, Massachusetts, Police Chief Michael Shaw, who lay on his stomach outside his stationhouse to show solidarity with George Floyd, who died at the hands of Minneapolis police, in a similar position.
“If you are a law enforcement officer and you kneel or lie on the ground so easily over the false narrative of police brutality, you will one day be executed on your knees or your stomach without a fight by the same criminals that you are currently pandering to,” the West Mifflin Borough cop reportedly wrote.
In 2019, a similarly offensive Facebook group composed of Border Patrol agents was exposed by ProPublica.