SAN JOSE, Calif. - A San Jose police officer who wounded a football hero at a taqueria last summer also texted colleagues that he hates "Black people" and used the N-word a multitude of times in the latest racist text scandal to hit the Bay Area.
San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata on Friday sent out a news release sharing snippets of the texts that he alleges Officer Mark McNamara sent to another unnamed employee of the police department following the March 27, 2022, shooting at La Victoria Taqueria. He also said that McNamara is no longer with the department.
"I am committed, as your Police Chief, that I will rid our ranks of individuals who act in a manner counter to the mission and values of our department," Mata said in a written statement. "If any employee's racial bias rears its ugly head, rest assured that I will take immediate action to ensure they are not part of this organization."
San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan said "there is nothing more sickening than a person in power abusing their position… I will sleep better tonight knowing that this individual is no longer carrying a badge and a gun."
The Mercury News reported that the six-year veteran resigned earlier this week after he learned he was being investigated by the Internal Affairs unit for an unrelated criminal matter. Efforts to reach McNamara were unsuccessful.
But San Jose Police Officer's Association President Steve Slack distanced himself from McNamara, saying this is "disconcerting reminder that not everyone has the moral compass necessary to be in the law enforcement profession." And if these allegations against McNamara prove to be true, he must face the sternest consequences possible."
McNamara was one of the police officers who shot defensive linebacker, K'aun Green, 21, four times in the back, abdomen and arm at La Vic.
Green used to play for Contra Costa College and now plays for City College of San Francisco.
There had been a brawl in the taqueria that night and Green ended up wrestling a gun away from the real shooter, according to video and his lawyers. He was seen on surveillance video walking out of the taco shop backwards with the confiscated gun in his hand.
Police arrived in a hurry and maintain that they shot Green because a homicide had occurred a block away about 30 minutes earlier, and they feared the two instances were related and an active shooter might be on the loose. It turned out these two situations were not related.
When more details came out that Green had actually taken the weapon away from the gunman, police never retreated from their earlier narrative.
In addition, Green was also not alerted by the police department on Friday night of the racist texts, although his attorneys were.
"He was shocked and pissed," one of his attorneys, Angel Alexander said.
Mata said criminal charges over the texts have not been filed nor are any anticipated to be.
Some of the texts that Mata revealed showed that McNamara wrote to two unnamed recipients — described only as one active department employee and a former department employee — referencing the shooting that involved Green.
That employee is on administrative leave, the chief said, saying he couldn't say more.
In a text message dated the day after the shooting, McNamara appears to refer to Green: "N—- wanted to carry a gun in the Wild West … Not on my watch."
In another text, McNamara was pretty clear about how he feels, texting simply: "I hate black (sic) people."
Other messages from June 2023 seem to have been sent while McNamara was being interviewed by the San Jose city attorney and Green’s lawyers, Alexander, Adante Pointer and Patrick Buelna, who sued the city over the shooting. Pointer and Alexander are Black. Buelna is Native American.
Some of them are:
- "These civil lawyers are such parasites."
- "There was like 65 African lookin' [sic] mother fuckers there too. All just mean mugging me and taking notes. They should all be bowing to me and brining [sic] me gifts since I saved a fellow n---a by making him rich as fuck. Otherwise he woulda [sic] lived a life of poverty and crime."
- "The other day this n— lawyer is like Mr McNamara, you know we can still find you guilty of excessive force right? I’m like, hmmm yeah then (what) happens?? … Think I give a f—- what y’all n—- think?!???? I’ll shoot you too!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!"
McNamara also wrote that Green should be thanking him for shooting him and that he doesn't care at all about what happened.
"I finally had to tell this city attorney what’s what," McNamara texted. "I’m like dude, I don’t give a shit about this case. I’m white, he’s black, he’s gonna win. AND I DONT CARE. It’s a b—- whatever they decide has no bearing on me what so ever. It’s basically kangaroo court."
A LinkedIn profile photo of former San Jose Police Department Officer Mark McNamara.
Green's lawyers found out about the racist texts Friday evening after they were contacted by the opposing counsel to their federal lawsuit against the police department.
"I paused for a moment," Alexander said. "I just paused."
The words, she said, don't even seem like they could come from a police officer.
Instead, she said, she first thought they were "rap lyrics or something almost that offensive."
It took her a moment to realize that a police officer was talking about her client and her colleagues.
"You see this all the time, but when it happens in your case, it is a little shocking. I have to admit that," she said.
What upset her the most?
"The one honestly that sticks out the most in my head was this text that said, ‘I hate black people,’ plain and simple," Alexander said. "To see it in black and white on a piece of paper, there is no guessing or speculation. And, you know, the more you read, the worse it gets."
This is not the first police racist text scandal to be unearthed in the Bay Area.
The most infamous to date, until now, belongs to the Antioch Police Department, where now half the officers are on leave because of the racist messages officers made about the city's Black mayor and residents.
Oakland police also were embroiled in an Instagram scandal that included racist and sexist exchanges between officers.
And investigation was launched after leaked texts showed Berkeley police officers on bike patrol showed officers making negative comments about the homeless in regard to possibly unconstitutional arrest quotas.
For their part, Green's lawyers want police departments – and chiefs like Mata – to hold their officers accountable.
That's because, as Alexander said, racist texts turn into racist actions.
"This is a plague that has again permeated police departments across the country," Alexander said. "So, yeah, I appreciate the fact that once Internal Affairs found out about the message that it was, seems like it was taken care of rather quickly. Unfortunately, I wish it had been done earlier and maybe, you know, we wouldn't have a case."