Advisory board recommends additional training for Norman officer after inappropriate email

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Officials say the Norman Citizens Advisory Board has reviewed the actions of a police officer following an inappropriate email.

On May 5, an email was sent to Norman police officers, notifying them about custom-printed masks that were available.

Norman Police Chief Kevin Foster says several officers were discussing in an email thread the difficulties they had experienced wearing facial coverings in the field.

At that point, Foster says one officer, Jacob McDonough, sent an image of people in white hoods carrying torches from ‘Django Unchained.’

An Oklahoma police officer is under investigation after replying to an email with this meme from ‘Django Unchained’ regarding masks.

In the movie scene, the mob is complaining about the fit of the masks they are wearing.

Within a matter of minutes, other department members questioned the appropriateness of the image and the officer apologized.

A lieutenant immediately responded, telling McDonough it was “MORE than inappropriate.” 

McDonough replied, saying “Sir I would like to apologize.” He went on to say he was pulling from “the satiracle (sic) humor related to the movie” saying he “did not mean to disrespect anyone.” 

The officer said the image was not intended to be about race, but rather a reference to the struggles of wearing a mask.

Norman Police Chief Kevin Foster says when he received the message, he immediately sent it to the internal affairs department.

“I was very offended and couldn’t believe an officer had sent that out,” Chief Foster said. “We will be looking at some disciplinary action depending upon on what comes in the investigation, if there’s any more things like this in his other emails or other things he has done.”

Officials say the officer is still working at this time and has been with the department since February of 2018.

On Friday, officials announced that the Norman Citizens Advisory Board had met to review and discuss the incident.

“While NCAB members felt as if the officer sent an extremely inappropriate & race filled meme from the movie ‘Django Unchained,’ the investigative process conducted by NPD has been expeditious and in accordance with policy. Our responsibility, as an advisory board, is in reviewing the investigative process and not in dictating disciplinary action or determining if an officer is racist or not. Even though we are disappointed that the NPD did not inform the public or the NCAB of the investigation on May 7 (when the officer was notified of his investigation) we still fully maintain that NPD’s investigative process was conducted quickly and due process was followed,” NCAB Chairperson Stacy Bruce said.

According to the report, there was just 37 minutes between the time the email was sent and when Chief Foster requested an investigation.

The board recommended that the officer attend additional RITE training, trainings on implicit bias, and be placed on probation.

At this point, disciplinary action still has to be decided.

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