Seven police officers in Lynn, Massachusetts, are on administrative leave and under investigation over allegations of inappropriate conduct.
The allegations involve potential drug abuse and use of racially insensitive language in a private text conversation between two officers, according to the Lynn Police Department.
The department recently learned of the allegations from another law enforcement agency, according to a release from the city's two deputy police chiefs and a confidential assistant.
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The investigation was confirmed in a statement released Thursday night by the police department.
“The Lynn Police Department recently received information from another law enforcement agency regarding allegations of inappropriate conduct by several officers,” the statement said. “These officers were placed on administrative leave and an investigation was immediately opened.”
None of the officers have been identified.
Acting Lynn Police Chief Lenny Desmarais denied a report, however, that the officers planned acts of violence against any racial group.
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"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.
Lynn Mayor Thomas M. McGee said any illegal behavior found by the police department's investigation would "not be tolerated."
"At the conclusion of the investigation, where appropriate, the officers involved will be held accountable and action will be taken," McGee said. "While the process is ongoing, for the protection of the public and the integrity of the investigation, the associated officers have been placed on administrative leave.”
Jose Mendez, who lives in Lynn, called for involved officers to face disciplinary measures.
"That’s bad, especially with what’s going on in America," Mendez said. "They should be punished."
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.