More than three weeks after a San Jose cop resigned following discovery of his racist text messages, police and city officials have yet to name who he was texting with.
San Jose Police Department officials told San José Spotlight there is one current officer and one former officer found to be in text message threads with disgraced ex-officer Mark McNamara. In one instance, McNamara sent racial slurs in texts the day after shooting a Black man in early 2022.
This was discovered during an investigation into McNamara, which led to his resignation earlier this month. Police said the other officer is still employed by the department, but was put on paid administrative leave immediately. He is being investigated over his “concerning dialogue.”
“The investigation into the current officer is a personnel matter that is still being investigated and not subject to disclosure at this time,” a police department spokesperson told San José Spotlight. “We will continue to be transparent with the public and provide appropriate updates when possible.”
Police critics and racial justice groups are demanding more accountability for all the officers involved in the text messages, and for a broad rollback of cases and arrests those officers had a hand in.
“The public has a right to know the names of these people that were involved in those vile racist text threads, but also to account for the damage that they have inflicted as a civil servant,” Raj Jayadev, co-founder of community organizing group Silicon Valley De-Bug, told San José Spotlight.
McNamara shot K’aun Green, a young Black man, four times on March 27, 2022 at a La Victoria Taqueria near San Jose State University. Green was backing out of the restaurant holding the gun of another man he disarmed during a fight in the business. Green survived the gunshot injuries and is suing the city over the shooting.
The following day, McNamara sent text messages using racist slurs referring to Green, writing that “N**** wanted to carry a gun in the Wild West,” and then added, “Not on my watch haha.”
In a separate text thread last June, McNamara texted more racist remarks to another recipient. McNamara wrote, “I hate black people,” used slurs to describe Green, his attorney Adante Pointer who is also Black, and said he would shoot them, too.
He also used more slurs and disparaging remarks when discussing a deposition where Pointer asked him questions.
“Think I give a f*** what y’all n*** think?!???? I’ll shoot you too!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!!,” McNamara wrote. “They should all be bowing to me and bringing me gifts since I saved a fellow n**** by making him rich as f***.”
Jayadev said by not releasing the names of the others in the text threads, SJPD and the city are picking sides by not prioritizing the safety of Black people and other people of color in the community.
“It would be naive to think the text messages that were exchanged amounted to the entire universe of their racist dialogue. It’s really likely just the tip of the iceberg and the public has a right to know what’s under those waters,” Jayadev said.
City Attorney Nora Frimann did not respond to a request for comment.
SJPD officials previously said the department is working with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office to review cases McNamara was involved in, including the shooting of Green in 2022.
“Upon completion of our internal investigation, we will review any affected cases as well,” Police Chief Anthony Mata said in a Nov. 9 statement. Based on a request from Mata, McNamara has also been added to a decertification list of officers in the state, to prevent him from becoming an officer with another law enforcement agency.
The district attorney’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
The Santa Clara County Public Defender Office is also conducting its own review of cases involving McNamara, and intends to request all those be dismissed.
“The bottom line is, every case that he is involved in has a huge question mark on it and it needs to be scrutinized, and the presumption should be that we should not go forward with a case that is tied to his work,” Avi Singh, head of the research unit at the public defender’s office, told San José Spotlight.
The public defender’s office plans to perform a similar review for any cases involving the unnamed current police officer under investigation, and any other officers found to be involved with the text threads, even if they are retired.
“There is an urgent need to release the names of everybody who is texting with McNamara so we can assess the integrity of the people who have been convicted, and to prevent people from being wrongfully convicted,” Singh said.