Activists Plan March to Demand Firing of Officer Who Tweeted #CopsLivesMatter, Death Threats Against Protesters
On Thursday, activists plan to march to the San Jose police headquarters to demand the firing of Officer Phillip White for his recent threatening tweets, according to Inside Bay Area News.
White has taken to Twitter to mock the Black Lives Matter protests. As Buzzfeed reported, he tweeted on December 8:
Nothing like some torrential rain & wind to quell a protest. Let’s see how important this really is to them when they’re drenched.
On December 11:
Just wondering … where are the protesters today #ICantSwim.
White’s tweets took a more ominous turn this past weekend when he wrote the following two tweets:
Threaten me or my family and I will use my God given and law appointed right and duty to kill you. #CopsLivesMatter
By the way if anyone feels they can't breathe or their lives matter I'll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my gun.
Silicon Valley De-Bug, a social justice community group, started an online petition calling for Officer White to be fired. To date, the petition has nearly 15,000 signatures. The group wrote on the petition:
The San Jose community is appalled by Officer Phillip White's threats to protesters through his twitter account. His words, if tolerated, make the notion of positive police-community relations impossible. Every second he has a badge and a gun, our community is at risk. He must be fired.
The San Jose police chief stated that White’s words do not represent the feelings of the department and that the SJPD does not “condone this type of behavior.” White has since deleted his Twitter account and has been placed on administrative leave with pay while the department investigates his actions. Buzzfeed reported that the San Jose Police Department of Internal Affairs and the city’s Independent Police Auditor would also investigate the matter.
Many community members still want White fired from the department. Activists will meet in front of the Santa Clara County government building today at 4pm and march to the SJPD to deliver their online petition.
Raj Jayadev of Silicon Valley De-Bug explained to CBS San Francisco why he wants White fired: “I saw venom and vitriol and I saw someone who is a walking danger and a walking threat who has a badge and a gun along with the state’s authority to use it.”