POLICE

Lynn Police Misconduct Investigation: 5 Officers Resign, 1 Fired, 2 Suspended

Following a monthslong investigation into racist texts and drug use, the Lynn Police Department says eight officers had quit, been suspended or been terminated

NBC10 Boston

Five police officers in Lynn, Massachusetts, have resigned, one was fired and two more were suspended over the course of a monthslong internal misconduct investigation.

The investigation was launched as a result of a search warrant brought by the Salem Police Department into domestic assault allegations against an officer in Lynn, according to police in that city.

Investigators with the Lynn Police Department focused their attention on racist texts between two officers. Those texts also allegedly showed evidence of drug use by officers.

Seven officers were placed on administrative leave in April after the department reviewed the text messages.

Lynn Police said Friday that five officers, including the two who sent the racist texts, had resigned as a result of the investigation. One officer was terminated after a hearing and two others were suspended.

"It is the position of the Lynn Police Department that law enforcement officers must be held to the highest standard of conduct," the department said in a statement Friday. "Inappropriate behavior, including the use of any racially offensive language, is condemned and will not be tolerated under any circumstances."

Police officers in Lynn are under investigation for allegations involving drugs and the use of racial slurs.

Police did not give any further details on the misconduct. None of the officers involved have been identified.

When police acknowledged the investigation in April, Lenny Desmarais, then acting chief of the Lynn Police Department, denied a report that the officers planned acts of violence against any racial group.

"We reached out to many people in the community to let them know what was originally put out was wrong and that there no officers planning violence against persons of color," he said at the time.

Jose Mendez, who lives in Lynn, called last year for involved officers to face disciplinary measures.

"That’s bad, especially with what’s going on in America," Mendez said. "They should be punished."

The allegations involve potential drug abuse and use of inappropriate language in a private text conversation.

An investigation was opened "immediately" and is now underway. The Lynn Police Department Professional Standards Division is conducting the investigation.

The investigation began with allegations last December that an officer with the Lynn Police Department assaulted a pregnant victim, the Essex County District Attorney's Office said in a statement Friday. Prosecutors determined there was not sufficient credible evidence to prove that case at trial, but while that complaint was being investigated, they said they found "possible evidence of unrelated misconduct by certain Lynn Police officers."

The Lynn Police Department said they are in contact with the district attorney’s office on the matter and will conduct a "transparent" investigation into the alleged misconduct.

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