The Web site, run by a Philadelphia police sergeant, is meant to be an open forum regarding the Philadelphia police. It's supposed to be "the voice of the good guys," according to the Web site. But with the site strewn with racially charged comments, the Guardian Civic League (GCL) filed a class-action lawsuit against the Philadelphia Police Department Thursday.
The site has thousands of members, many are Philadelphia police officers, and the GCL claims the site “created a racially harassing and hostile work environment” for black and minority officers, according to the suit.
The injunction Monday called for the police department to ban the use and operation of the Web site at work and to ban Philadelphia police officers from posting racist remarks, according to a press release.
The GCL, which represents black officers in the department, wants the site shut down and the Phila. sergeant, who posts to the site as “McQ”, punished.
One user of the site, "misterfifty" saw this suit coming. He wrote:
“I am surprised that it took this long.....after some of the posts that I have read over the years........ All speech ain't free....but I guess time will prove that point once again.”
White officers post and moderate the forums while on duty and on department computers, creating "a racially hostile environment," said Guardian Civic League attorney Brian Mildenberg.
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"It's the same thing as you can't hang racist material in the workplace," he said.
The Philadelphia Police Department declined to comment on the lawsuit.