“I am disgusted that this offensive content has been added to a training presentation for our police officers,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a statement released Friday.
The image, which appeared at the end of a 110-page PowerPoint presentation, shows a photograph of a person in tactical gear attacking what looks like an unarmed protester. The companion message, written as a false Bible verse, states, “They can baptize your heads with white walnuts and anoint your faces with pepper spray.” It also refers to people who are “tied up and stuffed,” as well as “sewn up and bandaged.”
“The message at the training presentation contradicted PPB’s values and what we as an organization are trying to achieve,” said Chief Police Officer Chuck Lovell. “When I found out about its existence, I ordered an internal investigation. This investigation is still open, so there is no discussion of the details.”
Although the entire training document emphasizes that the protesters can come from any part of the political spectrum, the picture refers exclusively to stereotypes associated with left-wing activists, with references to patchouli, Marx and dreadlocks.
Wheeler, who also serves as a police commissioner, said the investigation had been underway since September, when the image was spotted by a city official during a legal review and is now released because the city expects it to be included in court filings.
The mayor’s office said it did not know when the PowerPoint presentation was created or whether it was ever actually used in the training.