Racist Text Messages Surface Of Cops Discussing Harming and Killing Black Suspect Create History Clothing

Racist Text Messages Surface Of Cops Discussing Harming and Killing Black Suspect

The day after Torrance police shot Christopher DeAndre Mitchell in 2018, his mother and a dozen of his loved ones staged a protest outside the department’s headquarters.

At the same time, a group of officers — including the two who had killed Mitchell — were discussing the situation via text message.

“Was going to tell you all those [N-word] family members are all pissed off in front of the station,” one wrote, according to court documents recently reviewed by The Times.

Court records show the officers later mused about what might happen once the identities of those who shot the 23-year-old became public.

“Gun cleaning Party at my house when they release my name??” one asked
“Yes absolutely let’s all just post in your yard with lawn chairs in a [firing] squad,” another replied.

The hateful text messages exchanged by Torrance police officers have largely been kept out of view. Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón acknowledged their existence during an August 2021 news conference, but any disclosures made to defense attorneys about them were filed under seal.

Although The Times identified most of the officers in the scandal last December, the newspaper was able to review only snippets of conversations. A week later, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge severely limited what prosecutors could share about the scandal.

But the legal fight stemming from the criminal case against Tomsic and Weldin led prosecutors to enter a heavily redacted report on the text messages into a public court file earlier this year. Among previously unreported texts were gruesome promises of indiscriminate violence against Black people.

One officer shared pictures of tiny coffins intended to house the bodies of Black children they would “put down.” Another described how he would brutally execute suspects.

“Lucky I wasn’t out and about,” one officer wrote in response to a text about Black men robbing someone in Torrance, according to the records. “D.A. shoot team asking me why they are all hung by a noose and shot in the back of the head 8 times each.”

The officers’ racist exchanges ranged from vague offensive memes and cartoons about Black and Latino men to comments about specific people they had interacted with. Black suspects were repeatedly referred to with racial slurs
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