Oakland Officer Denies Racist Facebook Posts Leading to Firing: ‘I’m Not That Way’

The Oakland Police Department in California said it has parted ways with a probationary city employee after learning of “a series of racist, bigoted and derogatory statements” the woman allegedly made on social media nearly 12 years ago, the department announced in a statement.

Jocelyn Chang Newman, who was welcomed last February to the department as one of 18 newly graduated officers from the basic recruit academy, is “no longer employed by the city” after a local news outlet, Univision 14, brought the allegations to the attention of Oakland Police, the department said.

The department said it is internally investigating the incident, which involves comments allegedly made by Chang Newman on Facebook about Black people and Guatemalans using slurs and expletives, Univision 14 reported.

The posts thought to have been created by Chang Newman, 30, between 2012 and 2013 were screenshotted by the news outlet and shared with the department on Feb. 2, resulting in her firing hours later, according to Univision 14.

According to the news outlet’s examination of her social media posts, some of them included that she “hate[d] black people,” that anyone “mixed with Guatemalans is disgusting,” and that “Christians are f–ing annoying,” the outlet reported.

Chang Newman also posted, according to Univision 14, that Black people are “always stealing from working people, that’s why karma gets them killed.”

In an interview with The Mercury News, Chang Newman said while weeping that she denied having made the posts, instead blaming them on her former husband and father of her three children.

Chang Newman reportedly told the outlet that she had an abuse-plagued marriage and that her access to Facebook was limited by him at times. She claims in the interview that how she’s being portrayed is “not who I am.”

“How am I going [to] say something so messed up if my brother is half-Guatemalan, half-Mexican? I don’t agree with any of the statements,” said Chang Newman, according to the Mercury News.

“I don’t agree with the statements saying ‘I hate Black people.’ I don’t. And honestly, anyone that knows me well enough or has seen me, they don’t perceive me that way, because I’m not that way. I don’t act like that,” Chang Newman said in the interview.

Oakland Police said in a statement, “Racism and bigotry are completely contrary to our core values and discrimination and hate speech will not be tolerated under any circumstances.”

The department said the investigation, in collaboration with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, will also look into any criminal cases that may have been affected by Chang Newman’s conduct.

Oakland Police also said they are reviewing the department’s hiring and screening processes “to ensure that the values of potential employees are in alignment with the city and the department.”

“We’re going to do every single thing that we can to get to the bottom of this,” Oakland Police’s interim assistant chief Trevelyon Jones said in a video statement. “We have to have people here at the Oakland Police Department that love Oakland and care about the community. We cannot have people here who hold racist, hateful views serving our community.”

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