DC police officer's Instagram account taken down after racially insensitive content reported
WASHINGTON - The Instagram account American_Cops no longer exists after activists reported the content posted by the Metropolitan Police Department officer who ran the page.
Officer Dennis Sfoglia identified himself publicly as the account owner, even posting photos of himself in uniform. The account included content aimed at fellow police officers, including photos of officers doing acts of kindness, but the posts that attracted attention included racially-themed jokes and memes.
One such post includes a picture of an angry celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay with the caption, "This chicken is so black the police are screaming at it to stop resisting."
Another post includes an officer calling an Asian woman "Sushi" after he appears to not be able to pronounce her name during a traffic stop.
The controversy over the account first surfaced after complaints from activist group Law for Black Lives D.C. It comes after the group has submitted several complaints against behavior from officers that it says is racially insensitive or embraces a culture of excessive force.
"If you feel like you can equate a black person to a chicken ... then absolutely you need to be fired because you are no longer competent," said April Goggans of Black Lives Matter D.C.
Another D.C. police officer is currently under investigation for wearing a t-shirt with a sun cross, a symbol that has been connected to the Ku Klux Klan.
D.C. police did not specifically comment on the content of the Instagram account to FOX 5, but did say supervisors spoke to Officer Sfoglia and he told them he sold the account. The Metropolitan Police Department did not answer whether or not the officer received any discipline as a result of the posts.
FOX 5 asked for an interview with Police Chief Peter Newsham, but police did not respond to the request. An attempt to reach Officer Sfoglia through a social media account was unsuccessful.