Before the suspension, James Kobel was the commanding officer over the NYPD’s Office of Equal Employment and Opportunity
A NYPD police officer is under fire for making alleged racial comments.
Deputy Inspector James Francis Kobel of the New York Police Department is under internal investigation and as of November, he has been placed under suspension without pay after he allegedly spewed racist and homophobic rhetoric across a public law enforcement message board, per CNN.
“The virulent bigotry of Deputy Inspector James Kobel has no place in the NYPD, much less in the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity,” said City Councilman and Congressman-elect Ritchie Torres, who oversaw the investigation to CNN. “The shocking nature of his misconduct calls for nothing less than termination.”
Kobel allegedly posted in a public message board called ‘Law Enforcement Rant,’ a forum for police officers to vent about their jobs. A New York City Council Oversight and Investigations Division report said he posted on the board between July 2019 and September 2020 under the name Clouseau.
Kobel is accused of posting racial and inappropriate comments about NYPD officers of color, President Barack Obama and Eric Garner who was killed after being put in a chokehold by an NYPD officer in 2014.
Investigators were able to identify Kobel because of personal information shared by ‘Clouseau’ that was known to Kobel, such as the place he proposed to his wife, where his parents died and the number of parishioners in his church that were killed in 9/11.
Before the suspension, he was the commanding officer of the NYPD’s Office of Equal Employment and Opportunity and was responsible for investigating harassment claims within the department.
Kobel denies the allegations.
“I am unfamiliar with any of these posts,” said Kobel in a brief interview, per The New York Times. “I’m unfamiliar with ‘Clouseau.’ I don’t post on the Rant.”
Kobel recently filed for retirement from the NYPD and is eligible for pension benefits even if the disciplinary process is dismissed. He is now on a 30-day suspension without pay.
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