San Jose

Pressure Mounts on San Jose Police Department to Fire Cop Over Controversial Tweets

A community group, pushing to have a San Jose police officer fired for making threatening tweets, is applying more pressure.

The police watchdog group, Silicon Valley De-Bug, plans to march to the police department and the district attorney's office to protest what it calls special treatment for officers accused of using excessive force. They say the protest march will not only highlight local cases, but bring the South Bay into the national dialogue on the police issue.

Silicon Valley De-Bug says its online petition has generated about 13,000 signatures and will be presented to the police chief during a protest march on the department Thursday.

"We’re going to do it old school, in person, and we’re going to demand that Officer White be removed from the police force," said De-Bug executive director Raj Jayadev.

As NBC Bay Area previously reported, Officer Phillip White is accused of tweeting in response to Ferguson and New York protests. One mocking tweet read: “By the way, if anyone feels they can't breathe or their lives matter, I'll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my gun."

"The time for us now is to assert the San Jose community into the national dialogue and national call to action for justice and change," said Jayadev.

San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel says he will reach out to the community and that the department is upset about the tweeting incident.

"On its face it’s disturbing, it’s not what we stand for and I want the public to know and understand that we are being very proactive and aggressive in looking at this case," said Esquivel.

The group also plans to march on the Santa Clara County District attorney's office because they want to see charges in a February incident involving a San Jose State University officer.

"Having their ability to really express their point of view, it’s important for all community members, not only for this march but just everybody in general," said Esquivel. 

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