Email allegedly sent by UCPD officer includes racially charged message

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Ariel Hayat/File

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A UCPD officer allegedly sent a racially charged email containing an image that had been circulating on the internet to UCPD Chief Margo Bennett in 2015, UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore confirmed Thursday.

The email, obtained by The Daily Californian in a printed version from an anonymous source, appears to contain a forwarded picture of a Black man holding a sign that reads, “No mother should have to fear for her son’s life every time he robs a store,” accompanied by a caption referring to the image as the “epitome of stupidity.”

It remains unclear how much of the email was allegedly written by the UCPD officer.

“University officials have become aware of a situation involving a forwarded email that — given its content — goes against what we stand for as a community and as a police department,” Gilmore said in an email, though she would not confirm the identity of the officer.

Bennett verbally reprimanded the officer for the email as soon as she received it, according to Gilmore. The chief also deleted the email and said that, to her knowledge, the officer had never sent a similar email before the incident and did not after, either, according to Gilmore.

The university is continuing to look into the incident, she said in an email.

Anderson Lanham is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @AndersonLanham.