Scandal Widens in Case Involving San Jose Cop Who Texted ‘I Hate Black People’

By Crescenzo Vellucci

The Vanguard Sacramento Bureau Chief

SAN JOSE, CA – A scandal involving a former San Jose cop who prolifically used racist language to disparage a Black man he shot two years ago, according to the Mercury News, is growing after a court ordered the city of San Jose to release damaging text messages and names of at least two other police officers allegedly connected to the incidents. 

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Federal Judge Nathaniel Cousins Dec. 28 ordered the disclosure, and attorneys for K’aun Green requested the additional discovery in Green’s federal civil-rights lawsuit filed against the police department and city after Green was shot and injured in March 2022 by former San Jose Police Officer Mark McNamara.

Adante Pointer, one of Green’s attorneys in the suit, confirmed his law firm, Lawyers for the People, received the discovery, wrote the Mercury News Thursday, noting the discovery includes “text messages obtained from the personal cell phone of Defendant McNamara that contain a racial slur, word, reference, or statement possibly demonstrating racial bias.”

Pointer told the Bay Area News Group his firm was not “immediately prepared to comment on or potentially release the contents of a ‘slew of text messages’ as well as the names of one current SJPD officer and one former SJPD officer who were part of the racist correspondence by McNamara.”

The lawyer added his firm needed time to review the discovery, predicting a public response to the disclosures is “forthcoming.”

“The names of the two other officers texting with McNamara — in which he wrote passages including ‘I hate Black people,’ made light of shooting Green and threatened Green’s attorneys — had been withheld from public release by the city and police department, who cited personnel and privacy protections since the officers had not been charged with any crimes,” reported the Mercury News.

The judge rebuffed the city’s argument the officers’ names were legally privileged and said “the identity of the officers provides important context about the contents” of McNamara’s texts, adding, “it could be particularly relevant” to Green’s civil rights lawsuit claims of excessive force and police culture and training contributed to the shooting.

The city of San Jose is not expected to publicly release any of the information disclosed to Green’s legal team, according to a response to an email from the Bay Area News Group that stated, “Our office simply responded to the litigation discovery requests in the time frame directed by the court.”

SJPD Police Chief Anthony Mata said Wednesday he supports changing state law to allow police agencies to publicly release names and details about officers involved in high-profile misconduct cases because it is “critical for the public to have full confidence in our course of action following the discovery of the messages and illustrates why I took decisive action in November.”

The chief was referencing a Nov. 3 announcement that McNamara resigned after he was confronted with racist text messages that “surfaced during an unrelated criminal investigation into him by internal affairs detectives. That investigation did not yield any charges,” said the Mercury News.

But, the Mercury News added, “the content of the text messages quickly overshadowed how they were discovered. Many of them mentioned Green, who McNamara shot in the early morning hours of March 27, 2022…By all accounts, Green had been a peacemaker in a brawl that erupted inside a taqueria near the San Jose State University campus.”

Green reportedly disarmed a gun from one of the combatants and was backing away from them toward the restaurant entrance. Security footage shows McNamara and other officers yelling at Green to drop the gun, and as he showed his hands, McNamara fired four shots in quick succession.

Green, a former McClymonds High School football star trying to find a professional spot in the sport, was allegedly the brunt of messages by McNamara, including, “N— wanted to carry a gun in the Wild West … Not on my watch.”

Other texts by McNamara read: “They should all be bowing to me and bringing me gifts since I saved a fellow n— by making him rich as f—. Otherwise, he woulda lived a life of poverty and crime.”

In another, McNamara wrote, “The other day this n— lawyer is like Mr. McNamara, you know we can still find you guilty of excessive force right? I’m like, hmmm yeah then (what) happens?? … Think I give a f— what y’all n— think?!???? I’ll shoot you too!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!”

The SJ police filed a gun-violence restraining order against McNamara and submitted his name for state decertification to prohibit him from serving as a police officer again in California. The restraining order barred him from possessing 10 rifles, four shotguns and four pistols he kept at his home.

Chief Mata, said the Mercury News, also said the former SJPD officer who participated in McNamara’s texts was severed from his out-of-state police job after that unnamed agency was informed of his involvement in the scandal.

A current SJPD officer who texted with McNamara is the subject of an internal investigation, and, according to Mata, “is subject to legal rules of limited information release and requires a more traditional course of time to ensure we complete a thorough administrative investigation.”

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