Ohio police officer blames Jews for problems in U.S. on YouTube

by Lauren Diedrich

Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael Coleman called for a formal disciplinary investigation on Tuesday after a Columbus police officer posted controversial comments on a popular Web site.

Authorities said Susan Purtee, a 15-year veteran Columbus police officer, and her sister were seen on YouTube.com blaming the Jewish population for problems in the United States.

Officials said the sisters used YouTube's video posting abilities to create a video entitled The Subiesisters.

These videos were allegedly made while Purtee was visiting her sister in Florida, on her personal time. On the video, the sisters allegedly discussed their views on the Jewish population.

"What we're going to talk about is very controversial," the video stated. "It's the Jews, it's the Jews. They're a problem."

The Columbus Division of Police released a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying, in part, "The Division of Police does not agree with or condone the views and opinions expressed by Officer Purtee on her Web site."

According to the statement, Chief of Police James Jackson ordered an administrative investigation by the Internal Affairs Bureau.

The duo described themselves as two sisters who were raised in the Midwest. Their profile said they were mad about issues that Americans faced in the last 40 years.

"(Jewish people) have been problems in other countries," the sisters said. "So if your feelings will get hurt, don't watch. Thank God for freedom of speech."

"It made me angry that this type of behavior and thinking still exists in the year 2007," said Marsha Hurwitz, of the Columbus Jewish Federation.

Coleman said that he was personally offended by the comments made in the video. He said he was concerned that these comments would negatively reflect the police department as a whole.

"While we respect the right of free speech, we also demand that every officer meets the highest standard of conduct on and off the job," Coleman stated. "In my opinion, Officer Purtee's conduct falls far below expectations. (The comments are) not appropriate for a Columbus police officer. I have grave concerns about this particular officer."

Police said Purtee will be reassigned to a non-enforcement position, pending the outcome of the administrative investigation.