A top Los Angeles police official has resigned after copies of his racist, misogynistic, anti-Muslim emails went public.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell accepted the resignation of his chief of staff Tom Angel Sunday after emails from 2012 and 2013 revealing Angel’s comments were published by The Los Angeles Times. Angel forwarded multiple emails with inappropriate jokes when he was Burbank Police Department Assistant Chief before he took a job in 2015 working for McDonnell.
“Very recently I learned that three to four years ago LASD Chief Tom Angel shared inappropriate and unprofessional e-mails with others, during his service as Burbank Police Department Assistant Chief,” McDonnell said on the sheriff office’s Facebook. “This incident is one that I find deeply troubling. Chief Angel has offered his resignation, and I have accepted it. I thank him for his many years of service, and wish him and his family well.”
One email talked about Muslims wearing “towels for hats” and mocked Islamic terrorists because they are “so quick to commit suicide.” In Angel’s words, “You can’t wash off the smell of donkey.”
“I took my Biology exam last Friday,” said one of the emails. “I was asked to name two things commonly found in cells. Apparently ‘Blacks’ and ‘Mexicans’ were NOT the correct answers.”
Angel apologized after the emails went public.
“Anybody in the workplace unfortunately forwards emails from time to time that they probably shouldn’t have forwarded,” Angel said. “I apologize if I offended anybody, but the intent was not for the public to have seen these jokes.”
McDonnell said they will start doing random audits of email accounts in the future.
“Despite the Sheriff’s Department’s many recent efforts to fortify public trust and enhance internal and external accountability and transparency, this incident reminds us that we and other law enforcement agencies still have work to do,” McDonnell said on the sheriff office’s Facebook. “I intend to turn this situation into a learning opportunity for all LASD personnel.”
San Francisco’s police department also has a racist messaging scandal, where texts from officers have called into question thousands of arrests.
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