San Jose Police Officer’s Racist Text Messages Shed New Light on Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit

By Charlie Simmons

SAN JOSE, CA – Recently released text messages containing racial slurs and hate speech have cast a disturbing new light on a federal civil rights lawsuit concerning San Jose Police Officer Mike McNamara, who has been charged with using excessive force against a young Black man, K’aun Green.

According to a brief filed by Green’s lawyers, Adanté D. Pointer and Patrick M. Buelna, Green was dining at a local taqueria during the early hours of March 27, 2022, when he was accosted by a group of drunk men. The altercation turned physical, and one of the men drew a gun. 

Pointer and Buelna describe how K’aun managed to “miraculously” disarm the man, and retreated towards the front door of the restaurant, holding the gun.

Unbeknownst to K’aun, several San Jose Police officers were rushing toward the restaurant. Body cam footage obtained from Officer McNamara shows K’aun with his back to the door, holding the gun pointed upwards. Officers scream at Green to “drop the f**king gun.” Green barely has time to move before McNamara fires four times, wounding Green.

Green’s lawyers point out that instead of being treated like the “hero” that he was for disarming a drunken gunman, he was treated like a criminal. After shooting him, officers handcuffed Green behind his back before he was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Pointer and Buelna emphasize how, even at the hospital, after officers had learned what had transpired within the restaurant, Green was handcuffed to his bed and prevented from contacting anyone. It was only after media outlets reported that officers had shot the wrong person did San Jose PD feel the need to explain what happened. Tellingly, they never charged him with a crime, noted his lawyers.

According to Pointer and Buelna, Green sustained gunshot wounds to the abdomen, leg and arm. Doctors had to remove “a portion of K’aun’s intestines along with multiple pieces of bullet shrapnel that had ripped into his body.”

The brief states that, before his injuries, K’aun was a promising student and athlete who was being “courted by D1 colleges” and was “projected” to make the NFL, noting his injuries have put this dream in jeopardy.

Following these tragic events, Green and his family sued the San Jose Police Department for damages in April of that year. However, it was only in November of 2023 that McNamara was allowed to resign, following the release of racist text messages that the officer had exchanged with friends and fellow officers following the shooting and deposition.

In these messages, McNamara brags about shooting Green, saying “Nigga wanted to carry a gun in the Wild West,” which he followed with “not on my watch haha.”

McNamara also used racist language to describe Green’s attorneys. One of his messages states, “The other day this nigs lawyer is like mr McNamara, you know we can still find you guilty of excessive force right?! I’m like, hmmm yeah then shat happens?? Nothing?? Cool. Cuz I’m pretty sure the district attorney would have charged me if I used excessive force, but she didn’t, because I didn’t use excessive force. Think I give a f**k what y’all nigs think?!???? I’ll shoot you too!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!!”

McNamara also describes how in court, there were “like 65 African lookin’ mother f**kers there too” who were “all just mean mugging me and taking notes.” 

McNamara said that they should be “bowing to me and brining me gifts since I saved a fellow nigga by making him rich as f**k. Otherwise he woulda lived a life of poverty and crime.”  At one point, he questioned why “Black people don’t have any sense in their head?” which he soon followed up with “I hate Black people.”

Following the release of these messages, Green’s attorneys filed a separate suit accusing McNamara of committing a hate crime. In addition to using racist language, McNamara commented about the possibility of a “race war.”

The civil rights motion also accuses McNamara of attempting to hide evidence by deleting his social media accounts, which Green’s attorney alleged contained many other racially insensitive comments and posts. McNamara, for his part, claimed he deleted them in response to hate comments and death threats.

About The Author

Charlie Simmons is a third year at the University of Vermont studying English and Political Science. His academic interests include contemporary politics and creative writing. While he is not yet sure what his career aspirations are, he is interested in studying law, journalism, or creative writing at a postgraduate level. In his free time he enjoys skating, surfing, and doing ceramics.

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