Odessa Police Officer Suspended For Making Racist Comments

Odessa Police Officer Suspended For Making Racist Comments

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

ODESSA – An Odessa Police SWAT officer was suspended for 10 shifts for making racial comments back in October 2014.

According to the report released by the Odessa Police Department, supervisors reported that during SWAT practice, a verbal exchange occurred between SWAT members involving unacceptable conduct.

We're told Corporal Jeremy Walsh acted inappropriately and was in violation of two standard operating procedures.

The first incident involved Walsh stating to another officer that he had "Django hands." Officials say the statement has a direct relation to the recent movie Django Unchained where the lead character is a slave turned bounty hunter and Walsh stated that the comment was meant that the officer, "has rough hands."

The second incident occurred when Walsh made a statement to an African American officer when he stated he would get an officer to "show me how to pick some cotton." Walsh said that the comment was a "correlation of slaves picking cotton" and since the officer, "being from Mississippi and being in the south."

As a result of the internal investigation, Walsh was also suspended from the SWAT Team and ordered to receive diversity and anger management training.

In a statement to NewsWest 9, Odessa Police Chief Timothy Burton, said, "The behavior of one officer should not overshadow the efforts and accomplishments of the men and women of the Department who work hard every day in service to our community. The Odessa Police Department is committed to investigating all incidents of inappropriate behavior as demonstrated by the efforts of the supervisors who brought these allegations to light. The Odessa Police Department is committed to maintaining the highest professional standards and demanding ethical conduct of all employees at all times."

You may recall Walsh from a story NewsWest 9 did back in 2014 when he made headlines for his generosity. That was after Walsh gave a homeless man water and a pair of boots.