The Queensland Police Service is investigating a private Facebook group over reportedly sexist, racist and homophobic posts by its officers.
The “Defend the Blue” Facebook group is one of several private groups only open to serving and former Queensland police officers.
A senior serving Queensland Police officer set up the group last year. It currently has around 3500 members.
However QPS Commissioner Katarina Carroll has ordered an investigation into alleged racist, sexist and homophobic Facebook posts within it.
A number of the group’s posts variously criticise Queensland politicians as well as the Black Lives Matter movement, The Australian reported.
Some posts reportedly reference Northern Territory police officer Zach Rolfe. Rolfe is on trial for the alleged murder of Indigenous man Kumanjayi Walker.
Commissioner Carroll wrote in an internal email she has ordered an investigation into the material.
“I have become aware of inappropriate content on external social media pages linked to both current and former QPS members,” she wrote.
“The content brought to my attention is incredibly concerning [and] disappointing.
“[It] definitely does not reflect the values of our organisation or the majority of our people.”
She urged “passive members” of the groups who haven’t posted to consider leaving so as not to legitimise the material.
“Due to the nature and content of the posts, I must investigate and take any action appropriate to cease the continued publication of this highly inappropriate and offensive material.”
Queensland Police deputy says consequences for wrongdoing
QPS Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski also confirmed the matter was under investigation.
He said the QPS was disappointed “as an organisation” about the Facebook posts.
Any officers would face the same consequences for wrongdoing as members of the public, he said.
“We expect our police officers to be completely professional and appropriate at all times,” he said.
“Anyone that’s done the wrong thing can expect exactly what I say to the community. Do the right thing, otherwise it’s consequences.
Asked about the culture of the QPS, he said, “Like any organisation, we have challenges with some of our employees from time to time and we need to address them.”
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