Illustration by Max Fleishman

San Francisco cop’s texts reveal racist, homophobic messages

The records were released during an investigation of his alleged sexual assault.


Molly Stier


Published Apr 26, 2016   Updated May 26, 2021, 9:28 pm CDT

San Francisco police officer Jason Lai’s personal text messages reveal a nightmare for the diverse community he supposedly served in his six years as a cop.

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The messages, which Lai regularly exchanged with other police officers, targeted Indians, African-Americans, Latin Americans, and the LGBTQ community. 

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“He wished violence upon the very people he was being paid to protect and none of his colleagues turned him in,” San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi said in a statement on Tuesday. 

He said the text messages sent “literally makes me sick to my stomach,” at a press conference Tuesday.

“I apologize to the public,” Suhr added, according to a CNN report. “We are better than this.” provided a chronological overview of Lai’s sentiments:

  • 10/24/2014: Better than nigs looting
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  • 11/23/2014: Indian ppl are disgusting

  • 11/24/2014: Ghetto nigs burning down their own city wtf

  • 11/28/2014: Some nig tried to break into a diamond store on powell

  • 11/29/2014: You need help with those rioters? I can snipe them with my air rifle

  • 1/9/2015: Or some fucktard 528 reviewing my report

  • 2/17/2015: I think we need to let the rag heads fight amongst themselves.

  • 3/14/2015: With texting they can see all the msgs with the ATT search warrant?

  • 4/24/2015: Here’s a story I wrote today

  • 5/22/2015: Burn down the walgreens and kill the bums

  • 6/8/2015: Bunch of hock gwais shooting each other, too bad none of them dies

  • 7/30/2015: I hate that beaner. But I think that nig is worse.

Lai resigned from the police department earlier this month. He has since been charged with multiple misdemeanor counts of illegally accessing Department of Motor Vehicles computers. His arraignment is scheduled for May 3.  

This is the second time a racist text scandal has been uncovered under San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr’s leadership. A similar city scandal emerged when a prosecutor filed court papers containing racist and homophobic messages from former Sgt. Ian Furminger, one of three officers convicted of taking money and drugs from people at low-rent hotels last year.

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*First Published: Apr 26, 2016, 8:48 pm CDT