In a statement posted on Facebook this past Sunday, Sheriff Jim McDonnell of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department [LASD] announced the resignation of his chief of staff, Tom Angel, due to “inappropriate and unprofessional” emails that mocked several different minority groups and made jest of the Catholic child sex abuse scandal.
“Anybody in the workplace unfortunately forwards emails from time to time that they probably shouldn’t have forwarded,” Angel had told The Los Angeles Times. “I apologize if I offended anybody, but the intent was not for the public to have seen these jokes.”
Various rights group found this apology disappointing. The 'jokes' were especially troubling for Muslims in the area who have witnessed an increase in Islamophobic attacks and threats since last year’s San Bernardino shooting.
“Despite the Sheriff’s Department’s many recent efforts to fortify public trust and enhance internal and external accountability and transparency,” said McDonnel in his statement, “this incident reminds us that we and other law enforcement agencies still have work to do. I intend to turn this situation into a learning opportunity for all LASD personnel.”
“In the immediate future,” he adds, “we will be meeting with constituent groups throughout the county to share thoughts and ideas about improving our understanding of the varied cultures and orientations and deepening our appreciation of the many ethnicities and religions that are part of the vibrant fabric of the population we serve. We will also examine our current training framework and evaluate our curriculum in these areas to maximize their effectiveness.”
The emails sent by Tom Angel unearthed by the LA Times.
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