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San Diego Police investigating 'offensive' Hitler video sent to employees

SDPD PIO called the video "extremely disturbing."
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Posted at 3:33 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-19 22:13:59-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego Police Department is investigating a video sent to several employees that depicts Hitler and makes "offensive" remarks about an investigation into officers eating inside a restaurant amid stay-at-home orders.

The video was created after an internal investigation was launched over officers eating inside a restaurant during the state's stay-at-home order, said SDPD public-affairs Lt. Shawn Takeuchi. Those orders banned indoor dining at the time.

Takeuchi says whoever created the video was clearly angry over the department's investigation into that incident.

The video uses a clip from the 2004 film "Downfall," a German film depicting the final days of Adolf Hitler during World War II. A scene in the film showing an enraged Hitler yelling at military officials is used in various parody videos online.

Takeuchi said the video being investigated added subtitles that, "negatively portrays the community and department leadership. The video also makes a homophobic comment regarding the Mayor."

Mayor Todd Gloria, who took office this month, is the city's first openly gay mayor.

The video surfaced on Saturday and began to circulate. Numerous department members who received the video alerted their supervisors. Internal Affairs was notified and started an investigation.

Takeuchi called the video "extremely disturbing and offensive."

"At this time, we do not know if this video was made by someone in the department or by someone who does not work at SDPD. We are still investigating to determine who was involved in creating it," said Takeuchi. "The department will not tolerate hateful speech of any kind. If the video was created by a department member, Chief Nisleit will take swift action. This is not who we are as a department. This is not who we are as San Diegans."

Gloria responded to the video on Saturday, saying in a statement that, "I regret that this act by an apparently disgruntled individual is now reflecting poorly on our Department. It’s unfair to the many men and women who serve our community with honor and a strong sense of duty. As Mayor, I will not tolerate racism, anti-Semitism, or homophobia in our City. We will swiftly confront these acts of bigotry wherever they are and hold those who are responsible for them accountable."