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Reprimands issued to police over racist Facebook posts

One police officer received a serious reprimand for inappropriate conduct in a closed Facebook group whilst five others were given a verbal warning.

poliisin rintamerkki
Image: Miki Wallenius / Yle

Police officers who engaged in openly racist and anti-immigrant comments have been disciplined by their superior officers following an investigation by the National Police Board.

Police said in a statement that one officer received a serious written reprimand over his misconduct in the closed Facebook group while five other members of the police-force were given a verbal berating by management.

Online investigative-news publication Long Play said last year that openly racist discussions were taking place in a closed Facebook group, a group which reportedly around one third of Finland’s police officers belonged to. The matter was revealed when Long Play published hundreds of screenshots they had acquired of the closed group.

The screenshots revealed crude jokes that were made at the expense of James Nikander, a performer under the name of Musta Barbaari, as well as an asylum seeker who attempted suicide. Another screenshot showed the suggestion that foreigners should be forced to wear identifying armbands.

A total of three criminal complaints were filed with the Office of the Prosecutor General, however upon investigation, it decided no crimes had taken place, but any clarification or punishment that was deemed necessary would be handled by the Police administration.

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