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Boca Raton police sergeant fired over ‘racially offensive comments' and misconduct

Posted at 3:33 PM, Mar 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-09 23:52:14-05

The Boca Raton Police Department announced the firing of a police sergeant for making “racially offensive comments” and other misconduct.

Police Sergeant Jeremy Codling was terminated by the department earlier this week, BRPD said in a news release.

An investigation of Codling was conducted after another city employee filed a complaint. An internal investigation found text messages, photos and other offensive comments made by Codling, according to a police report.

Screenshots of text messages provided by police of Codling’s derogatory comments made towards African Americans and Jewish people date back to December 2015.

Officers interviewed by Internal Affairs said they heard Codling make "comments involving race" during trainings.

Some of those comments included "What's up my N*****." Investigators also said he and other officers were going to a training event in Miami where there was a Jewish man with a black man. The investigators said Codling made a comment that the black man "must be his chauffeur as they could not possibly have another relationship."

At another event, the officer who filed the complaint said he made a comment about a tarp, and wondered if he could take it. The investigation said Codling responded "I thought black people are the ones who are always stealing things."

The investigation showed Codling made the comments often to be humorous, and said he did not know he was being offensive. The officer who complained claimed he told Codling he was unhappy with the comments.

Codling was hired by BRPD in 2012. 

Statement provided by Boca Raton Police:

The City and the Police Services Department have set high standards for our law enforcement officers, and we work hard to attract and retain the very best employees.   We have no tolerance for offensive or derogatory comments, including those of a racial nature. We will remain committed to an environment free of any form of harassment.

The City and the Police Services Department recognize that our effectiveness in community policing is based on trust.  In addition to maintaining formal and informal discussions with the diverse groups within our City, all officers in the Police Services Department have completed training in Fair and Impartial Policing.  This employment action demonstrates the City’s commitment to address any conduct which might undermine the confidence of the people we serve.