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Criminal Justice

Long Beach Police Department Suspends Officer Caught Up In Torrance Racist Texting Scandal

The word "Police" and a Long Beach city seal seen in a closeup of a police car door is composited into an SMS text box.
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The Long Beach Police Department has suspended an officer who was caught up in the scandal involving the exchange of racist text messages among a group of Torrance cops.

The Long Beach department said Friday it’s been investigating Officer Maxwell Schroeder since August for "biased and prejudiced remarks he made in electronic communications" with people outside the agency.

The department said in a statement it's also looking into Schroeder's past use of force incidents and arrest reports.

An investigation into two Torrance police officers charged with painting a swastika on an impounded vehicle brought to light racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic text messages passed among more than a dozen officers.

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This week the Los Angeles Times revealed the substance of some of the texts and identified the officers — including Schroeder.

Connection To Torrance

Before joining the Long Beach department five years ago, Schroeder was a police recruit in Torrance.

Since launching its inquiry into Schroeder in August, LBPD officials said they "acquired additional evidence." After internal affairs investigators interviewed him Thursday, Schroeder was suspended based on a "preliminary review of the evidence."

"The Long Beach Police Department holds all its employees to the highest standards of integrity and professionalism — and we have zero tolerance for all forms of prejudice," the statement said.

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The racist texts have prompted California Attorney General Rob Bonta to launch an investigation of the Torrance police.

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