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December 08, 2005
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San Francisco police to suspend up to 20 officers for controversial video

Watch the controversial video:  Clip 1; Clip 2; Clip 3; Clip 4

The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — One police officer was suspended and others faced discipline after making videos that used racist, sexist and homophobic stereotypes, officials said.

|About 20 officers participated in creating or performing in the videos, intended as a spoof of life on the force, according to Mayor Gavin Newsom and Police Chief Heather Fong.

"The content ranges from immature and vulgar to sexist, racist and homophobic," the two said in a joint statement Wednesday.

The videos made fun of Asians, blacks, women and members of the gay and transgender communities, Fong said.

One of the police officers accused of making the videos defended the work Thursday as satirical, and blasted the police chief for criticizing.

"Shame on her," Officer Andrew Cohen, who was the suspended officer, said on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday.

"We did this absolutely for morale purposes," Cohen told ABC. "We did it for a Christmas party that was coming up, sort of to roast my former captain. We did it because there are some very fun and interesting characters at the station and we thought it would be fun to showcase and laugh at their idiosyncrasies and personalities."

The department's internal affairs division launched an investigation after the video was discovered on an officer's Web site. Newsom said a special task force, the city's Human Rights Commission and the Commission on the Status of Women would also investigate.

One officer was suspended Tuesday in connection with the videos, which were removed from the Web site.

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