Police caught trolling local MP on Facebook with series of sexist and racist posts
- Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong was targeted by NSW police officers
- Came after she shared her views online about drug detecting sniffer dogs
- Officers allegedly created memes using Ms Leong’s profile picture
- They also made racist and sexist comments and ‘liked’ and shared posts
- NSW Greens Police spokesperson likened behaviour to ‘hunting in a pack’
NSW Police officers have been caught trolling and harrassing a local Greens MP on social media, writing racist and sexist posts, creating memes and ‘liking’ comments.
Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong has been subjected to Facebook posts mocking her ethnic background and one that referred to her father as a ‘swamp monkey’ reported the Sydney Morning Herald.
Police implicated in the alleged cyber bullying reportedly included personnel at Sydney City Local Area Command, Kings Cross, Bankstown and Cabramatta, with some are in senior management positions.
Greens MP for Newtown Jenny Leong was subjected to racist and sexist attacks on Facebook from members of the NSW Police Force
The attacks followed the Greens’ proposal, in the NSW Parliament, to repeal the state’s controversial sniffer dog drug detection program.
A city-based detective allegedly posted a modified image of Ms Leong’s Facebook profile picture and added the words: ‘One condom could have prevented this from happening’.
The post was allegedly ‘liked’ by four other police employees including a senior manager in human resources, Detective Inspector Denby-Lea Eardley.
Ms Leong has referred the matter to the Police Integrity Commission.
In a Facebook post she said: ‘Racism and sexism in our society is never acceptable, and while everyone knows there is a dark side to the internet, if these actions have been undertaken by members of the NSW Police serious repercussions must occur.’
‘The role of the police is to protect the community from harmful and aggressive behaviour, given this it is completely unacceptable that police would be actively contributing to sexist and racist attacks.’
A meme allegedly created by a NSW police officer using Ms Leong’s current Facebook profile picture
On March 18 Ms Leong’s office posted a photo on her official Facebook page condemning the actions of two police officers patrolling a train with tasers and sniffer dogs.
The post said: ‘This kind of harassment and intimidation is exactly what the Greens’ bill is aiming to stop.’
Ms Leong received a large amount of criticism for the post including unrelated sexist and racially-driven abuse, some of which was posted, shared, liked and applauded by police officers using their private Facebook pages.
A message posted on Ms Leong’s official page on Sunday, condemning the online harrassment
One officer, allegedly based at Bankstown, changed his profile picture to an image of Ms Leong, prompting a series of shocking comments.
Police employees are said to have been publicly celebrating the online abuse Ms Leong was receiving and creating other derogatory memes using Ms Leong’s image.
One officer at Sydney LAC wrote: ‘She is still copping a smashing – love it!’
He later said: ‘I haven’t been banned yet and she is still getting it both barrels.’
Ms Leong has reported the images and comments to the Policy Integrity Commission, saying ‘racism and sexism in our society is never acceptable’
Under the Police Code of Conduct and Ethics in its Personal Use of Social Media Policy and Guidelines, staff are told: ‘Do not post any material that may bring the NSW Police Force into disrepute, or otherwise embarrass the agency.’
A spokesman for the NSW Police Force said while they were in the early stages of investigating, it was clear the posts could contravene the strict social media use policy.
‘Police officers are expected to behave at all times in a manner which upholds the integrity of their office and appropriate action will be taken against any found acting to the contrary,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
NSW Greens Police Spokesperson David Shoebridge likened the conduct to ‘hunting in a pack’.
He said while police have a right to express their opinions freely while off duty, evidence of ‘overt and aggressive attacks’ on parliamentarians and private citizens was ‘disturbing.’
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