What to Know
- Police are investigating a photo of a Philadelphia officer in blackface and wearing an Afro that surfaced on social media.
- Officer Hung Nguyen, a 22-year veteran, is currently on desk duty as police work to determine who created the image.
- Police have not yet interviewed Nguyen. NBC10 reached out to the Fraternal Order of Police. They have no comment for now.
An investigation is underway and a Philadelphia police officer is now on desk duty after a photo of him in blackface surfaced on social media.
The photo shows Officer Hung Nguyen, a 22-year veteran, wearing an Afro and in blackface. The picture sparked outrage after it was posted on Facebook. Police became aware of the image late Tuesday night and confirmed it was Nguyen in the picture. They’re now working to determine who created the image.
“We don’t know the nexus of the photo,” Philadelphia Police Captain Sekou Kinebrew said. “It could have been some sort of computer graphic that we see, or it could be something he physically applied on himself. That’s something we are looking to ascertain.”
Officer Nguyen spoke briefly to NBC10, saying he was hurt and upset. When asked if he put blackface on, Nguyen said it’s still under investigation and then hung up the phone.
Nguyen, who has been working out of Philadelphia International Airport since 2004, is currently on desk duty as the investigation continues.
Rochelle Bilal, the head of the Guardian Civic League, a group of active and retired minority officers who work to bring neighborhoods and police together, told NBC10 she was disgusted by the image.
“If he is the one who put the blackface on and the bush and put all of it out there, then he shouldn’t be a police officer,” Bilal said. “I don’t know authentically if it’s his image but you put it on your page and you left it there, for everybody to see.”
Police have not yet interviewed Nguyen. NBC10 reached out to the Fraternal Order of Police. They have no comment for now.