San Jose

Protest Planned After San Jose Police Officer Fired Over Threatening Tweets Is Reinstated

Community groups are also considering legal action to challenge the arbitration ruling for allowing officer to return to police force.

The public uproar over the reinstatement of a San Jose police officer fired over threatening tweets is about to get even louder.

Officer Phillip White was fired last October after some of his personal tweets surfaced that many believe were threats to members of the Black Lives Matter movement. Some of the same groups that initially demanded White's firing say they plan to hit the streets and courts on Wednesday with a new, angrier message.

"We're protesting tomorrow because we have to," said Raj Jayadev, a member of Silicon Valley De-Bug. "Because our goal of getting an officer who has very explicitly threatened people publicly is back on the force with a gun."

Silicon Valley De-Bug and the NAACP marched on San Jose police headquarters in December 2014 demanding White be fired. The groups plan to hold a similar demonstration on Wednesday and are also considering legal action to challenge the arbitration ruling.

NBC Bay Area broke the story last week of an arbitrator giving White his job back. Some called the decision a secret arbitration process.

Mayor Sam Liccardo, who was not informed of the groups' action, said he is also going to ask the city council to consider legal action in a private session next Tuesday.

"The basis for a legal challenge would be focused on whether the arbiter exceeded their authority or violated some tenant of public policy," Liccardo said.

But legal analyst Steven Clark said fighting a binding arbitration decision is extremely difficult.

"Unless the city can show that there was corruption or significant malfeasance on the part of the arbitrator, a Superior Court ruling is very unlikely to step in and overturn this decision," Clark said.

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