LASD Official Forwarded Racist Emails When He Was With Burbank Police Department
A top official with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department apparently sent some pretty gross emails from his work account while he was employed with the Burbank Police Department. He has since apologized—sort of—by saying the public wasn't ever supposed to see them.
Tom Angel currently serves as chief of staff under LASD Sheriff Jim McDonnell. But back in 2012 and 2013, he was a police official in Burbank, according to the L.A. Times. City records indicate that the types of emails he liked to forward back then—using his work account, not a personal email—were full of anti-Muslim, racist and sexist jokes.
One of the forwards obtained by the Times stated: "I took my Biology exam last Friday. I was asked to name two things commonly found in cells. Apparently 'Blacks' and 'Mexicans' were NOT the correct answers." Other jokes contained stereotypes about women, made fun of overweight people and talked about a challenge where contestants had to survive a road rally through Texas in a pink Prius with anti-gun, pro-liberal stickers. Very original.
Another contained 20 reasons why Muslims "are so quick to commit suicide." These included wearing "towels for hats," "more than one mother in law" and "your wife smells worse than your donkey." Another contained a list of crimes allegedly committed by Muslim terrorists.
Angel defended himself by saying he himself is Mexican, and that we weren't ever supposed to know he sent those emails.
"I apologize if I offended anybody, but the intent was not for the public to have seen these jokes," he said.
Angel said he also has no record of any issues when working with "any minority communities in the history of my association with law enforcement."
McDonnell said he does not intend to discipline Angel because the emails were not sent while he was with the LASD. It's worth noting that Angel joined the Burbank Police Department in 2010 with the specific task of turning around the department in light of discrimination and brutality allegations. Before that, he spent over 30 years with LASD.
"Everybody's got their own take on humor. This was divisive and nonproductive. It's a shame the whole thing happened at all," McDonnell said. He also described Angel as "respectful and professional" with a focus on "the best interests of constitutional policing in L.A. County."
Haroon Manjlai, spokesperson for the greater L.A. chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, however said, "It's very concerning when [officers] have such biases against the constituency that they have to police."