SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A San Jose police officer who was fired over his tweets in 2014 against protests of alleged police misconduct in the deaths of unarmed black men got his job back Thursday, police said.
An arbitrator decided in Officer Phil White’s favor in a decision about his job.
White had administrative duties before he was fired and upon his return will again be assigned to administrative duties and help roll out the
department’s body-worn cameras.
Police did not say when he will be back to work.
“Pursuant to state law, all police officers who have successfully completed probation are entitled the opportunity to participate in an
administrative appeal of any discipline imposed by their employer,” acting police Chief Eddie Garcia said in a statement.
City and police officials said they disagree with the conclusion of the arbitrator, but they respect the process.
In December 2014, White posted tweets to his personal account about protests of decisions not to indict white police officers in the deaths
of unarmed black men earlier in 2014.
Protests occurred around the country and in the Bay Area were marked by vandalism, dumpster fires, and among others actions, blocked freeways.
One of White’s messages said, “Threaten me or my family and I will use my God-given and law appointed right and duty to kill you.”
Another tweet said, “By the way if anyone feels they can’t breathe or their lives matter I’ll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my
gun,” a reference to the chokehold death of Eric Garner who reportedly said, “I can’t breathe,” as he was being detained by police.
Protesters used that sentence frequently.
Police officials said that the character and excellence of each officer reflects on the department and officials will continue to hold officers to high ethical standards.
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