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13 Philadelphia police officers will be fired over social media posts

Project exposes officers' posts that allegedly 'advocated violence'

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Thirteen Philadelphia police officers are expected to be dismissed because of their activities on social media, the department announced Thursday.

What are the details?

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross told reporters the officers are set to be suspended with the intent to dismiss, after officials reviewed their social media posts flagged for being potentially offensive. The 13 officers were already pulled off the streets and sent to desk duty along with 60 other officers last month, after The Plain View Project exposed posts made by more than 300 current members of the Philadelphia Police Department.

Ross explained that the officers doomed for termination had made posts that "advocated violence," NBC News reported. All but three of the remaining officers on desk duty will be suspended anywhere from five to 30 days, depending on how offensive their posts were determined to be.

13 Philadelphia Officers to Be Fired Over Racist, Violent Facebook Posts | NBC10 Philadelphia www.youtube.com

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the police department's social media policy states that employees "are prohibited from using ethnic slurs, profanity, personal insults; material that is harassing, defamatory, fraudulent, or discriminatory."

According to KHOU-TV, the city's police union expressed its disappointment that the officers "will be terminated without due process."

What's the background?

The Plain View Project compiled a database of allegedly controversial social media posts from thousands of current and former law enforcement officers spanning over the course of several years, and released the contents on June 1. Posts were flagged over their potential for being offensive in nature, such as for glorifying police brutality, expressing anti-Muslim sentiment, or racism.

In one post, a Philadelphia officer reportedly commented online that a suspect should be "taken out back and put down like the rabid animal that he is," and another officer posted a meme that read, "Death to Islam."

In addition to Philadelphia, the project targeted police departments in York, Pennsylvania; Phoenix; Dallas; St. Louis; Twin Falls, Idaho; Denison, Texas; and Lake County, Florida.

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