SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — At least a dozen guards in Santa Clara County's troubled jails repeatedly exchanged racist text messages over the past year, mixing vile slurs with threats of casual brutality.
The San Jose Mercury News reported Friday that the messages, which surfaced in an ongoing investigation, included slurs against black, Latino, Vietnamese and Jewish people.
The texts don't urge fellow guards to commit violent acts, but some do appear to applaud violence, particularly against blacks.
Sheriff Laurie Smith, who oversees the jails, acknowledged the investigation and called the texts "absolutely shameful." On Wednesday, she announced some major changes to its jail operation focusing on use-of-force complaints.
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The text probe began before three guards were charged this fall with the beating death of an inmate, Michael Tyree. San Francisco police faced a similar situation earlier this year when racist text messages exchanged over a two-year period surfaced in March. More than a dozen officers were involved.