Several Montgomery County Sheriff deputies are under investigation for sending racist text messages while on duty.
Although there are a total of five deputies under investigation, only two–Sheriff’s Capt. Thomas J. Flanders and Detective Michael J. Sollenberger– have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation, Sheriff Phil Plummer says.
Plummer says the racist messages were sent between November of 2011 and January of 2013.
Many of the messages were sent while the deputies were on duty and were directed at African-American deputies.
Local affiliate WDTN reports that the allegations were unearthed after Dayton Unit NAACP President Derrick Foward told deputies that he’d received an anonymous complaint about the racist messages.
“These text messages, while some of them may be some joking going on back and forth, some of them are flat out rude and racist,” Forward told the station.
There were reportedly hundreds of pages of vile and racist text messages.
“What do apples and black people have in common? They both hang from trees,” read one joke.
“I hate N*ggers. That is all,” another text message said.
“Very simply put, they’re N*ggers, son,” wrote another deputy.
Plummer says the investigation is still in its early stages.
All of the messages were sent from personal cell phones, during off duty and on duty hours, but Plummer notes that deputies are always on duty because they represent the community and should behave as such.
The Montgomery County code of ethics insists that deputies keep their “private life unsoiled as an example to all.”