April 19, 2024
An active and a former SJPD officer exchanged racist, homophobic and other offensive text messages, authorities and records show.

SAN JOSE — Two police officers with modest experience at the San Jose Police Department — including one who has long since left the agency — have been named as participants in a series of racist texts exchanged with a disgraced SJPD officer who abruptly resigned last fall after the messages surfaced.

The identities of the officers, Brandon LeTemplier and William Basil Haggerty, were first reported by KTVU and later confirmed by this news organization with multiple law-enforcement sources.

LeTemplier has been on administrative leave since November, when he was taken off duty around the same time Mark McNamara resigned from the police department. An unrelated internal criminal investigation — which did not yield any charges — turned up dozens of text messages in which McNamara, who is white, prolifically used the N-word both to reference himself and insult Black people, including a Black man he shot and wounded in 2022.

In addition to LeTemplier, Haggerty was confirmed to have been involved in some of the 300-plus messages between March 2022 and July 2023 that were released, in semi-redacted form, by San Jose police. Authorities delivered both a public announcement about McNamara’s departure and a statement in response to a court order secured by attorneys for K’aun Green, the man who McNamara shot and who is pursuing a federal excessive-force lawsuit against him, the police department and the city.

LeTemplier, who did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment for this story, has been with the police department since 2020. Records show Haggerty was an SJPD officer from 2017 to 2020, and went on to serve as a police officer in Eagan, Minnesota and Minneapolis starting in 2021. Both men are white.

In January, SJPD Police Chief Anthony Mata stated that a former officer — now identified as Haggerty — who participated in the texts with McNamara had departed his out-of-state police job shortly after his employer was alerted to his involvement in the scandal.

Haggerty could not be immediately reached for comment.

Last week, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said it would dismiss five misdemeanor narcotics convictions that relied on McNamara’s testimony — calling him “a bigoted man ” and “a disgrace to public service” — but preserve 36 other criminal cases involving McNamara in which he was deemed not to be a central investigator.

The county Public Defender’s Office expects to challenge the DA’s analysis, and contends that any case associated with McNamara should be dismissed.

Because the McNamara texts publicly disclosed to this point have sender identities redacted, it’s not fully clear how many of the messages were with LeTemplier or Haggerty. But there are contextual clues in some of the texts that suggest who was corresponding during a specific exchange. For example, a message in which the sender asks McNamara to come through Minnesota was likely from Haggerty.

Some messages appear to be from LeTemplier because of the specificity of the exchange, particularly in the wake of McNamara shooting K’aun Green on March 27, 2022. The shooting was controversial because Green had been a peacemaker in a brawl that erupted inside a taqueria near San Jose State University, and he had been holding a handgun — which he disarmed from someone else — up in the air and backing out of the restaurant when he was shot.

McNamara texts one of the two officers, “Your turn lol” after the shooting, to which the responder states, “Lol ideally I won’t have too. (sic) But if some fool wants to get smokes (sic) then he gets smokes (sic).”

In another message one of the officers laments being accused of harassment after he stopped a “car with these ghetto ass mofos in it,” smelling marijuana in the vehicle and finding out a passenger had active criminal charges.

All throughout, McNamara and his texting partners liberally use the N-word to refer to each other and Black people, and also make multiple homophobic and misogynist comments and at least one remark insulting Asian people. In a civil deposition, McNamara reportedly testified that his use of the N-word was playful and that he was inspired by Black actors and comedians to use the slur.

The most egregious texts were by McNamara, including “I hate black people” and “I hate black people more than I hate being a cop.”

In reference to Green and later his lawsuit, McNamara wrote, ““N— wanted to carry a gun in the Wild West … Not on my watch” and “They should all be bowing to me and bringing me gifts since I saved a fellow n— by making him rich as f—. Otherwise, he woulda lived a life of poverty and crime.”

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Another text referred to Green’s attorney using the N-word and in the same message said, “I’ll shoot you too too!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!”

Earlier this year, the texting scandal was cited in Green’s lawsuit, with his attorneys accusing McNamara of deleting his social-media accounts last year to dispose of possible evidence, an act McNamara claimed in court filings was to avoid harassment after the scandal surfaced. Green’s attorneys petitioned a federal judge to default against the city, a request the judge denied after disagreeing with the plaintiffs that the social-media information was irretrievable.

McNamara’s legal team, on the other hand, is asking the judge to dismiss the lawsuit outright, stating in a court filing that his texts were “made in jest although admittedly in extremely poor taste,” but ultimately had no bearing on the objective lawfulness of his decision to shoot Green.

The veiled threat against Green’s attorneys in the texts fueled a gun-violence restraining order the police department filed against McNamara. His law-enforcement license is currently suspended pending an SJPD petition to permanently decertify him as a police officer in California.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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