A formerly high-ranking New York City police officer from Long Island who was accused of anonymously posting racist rants online has reportedly been transferred to the transit bureau.
Deputy inspector James Francis Kobel, a 30-year veteran who was serving as commanding officer of the NYPD’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) within the department’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, was reassigned to the Transit Borough Command for the Bronx and Queens, the New York Post reported this week. The NYPD is investigating the allegations, which were first reported by The New York Times and later detailed in a City Council investigative report earlier this month. He was initially placed on modified duty amid an ongoing internal affairs probe.
Kobel allegedly used the pseudonym “Clouseau” to post more than 500 times on the board, known as “Law Enforcement Rant,” between July of last year and September of this year. Among the many examples, he allegedly described Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark as a “gap-tooth wildebeest” and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, also of the Bronx, as a “savage.” Kobel also allegedly said two women on the police force were “gutter sl*ts” and “f**king animals” and “savages.”
The Times reported that the City Council first started looking into Kobel over the summer when an investigator working for Bronx Congressmember-Elect Ritchie Torres, the out gay City Council Oversight and Investigations Committee chair, read a story about the message board in New York magazine. The investigator then started snooping around the message board and could not help but notice the outrageous rhetoric emerging from “Clouseau.”
The NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau investigators appeared to have corroborated some revealing information included in Kobel’s posts.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a tweet on November 6 that Kobel would be booted from the NYPD if the investigation confirms the allegations, saying, “This vile, racist language is an attack on every New Yorker and an insult to our city’s values. This is under investigation, and if it’s true, he will be fired. End of story.”
Torres, meanwhile, has seen more than enough.
“It is true,” Torres wrote on Twitter in response to the mayor. “James Kobel should be fired. Justice delayed is justice denied.”
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