NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Norman police announced Wednesday that an officer will be disciplined for sharing a racially insensitive meme in an in-house email thread.
Norman police are not disclosing what type of punishment officer Jacob McDonough will receive.
Police officials launched an investigation into McDonough’s actions in a May 5 email thread that concerned difficulty wearing facial coverings in the field.
McDonough responded with a meme from the movie Django Unchained in which the characters are seen in KKK-like hoods preparing for a lynching.
The investigation and, ultimately, Norman Police Chief Kevin Foster found that McDonough violated Norman police policy regarding prohibited speech, expression and conduct, according to a Norman Police Department news release.
Foster disciplined McDonough.
“In accordance with Oklahoma State Law, details regarding the nature of the discipline will not be available for public release,” the news release states.
Foster previously denounced McDonough’s action in the email thread.
“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.”
Ashley McCray, with Norman Citizens for Racial Justice, recently told KFOR that her organization was alerted to McDonough’s action.
“After reviewing the content of the actual email, we realized that it is actually a racist incident,” McCray said.
After McDonough sent the meme, a lieutenant immediately responded, telling McDonough this 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.”
McDonough’s supervisor, Chad Vincent, also replied, saying in part, “Maybe in the future let’s hold off on sending out this type of email. Many times our night shift humor is misunderstood by those outside of our division :)”
“He was very blasé and dismissive,” McCray said. “So honestly, that raises even more flags for us as a citizen advisory or alert group.”
Norman Citizens for Racial Justice published an article about the incident and released the emails in The Black Wall Street Times.
Shortly after that, Norman police announced an internal investigation in a press release.