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NYPD Suspends Equal Employment Division Officer after Antisemitic, Racist, Homophobic Social Media Rants Discovered

James Kobel.jpg

An NYPD officer is under investigation for allegedly making prejudice, sexist and intolerant comments in an online chat room.

Deputy Inspector James Kobel, assigned to the Equal Employment Opportunity Division, has been relieved of his command and placed on modified assignment pending the outcome of the internal investigation.

Kobel is accused of penning attacks on Black and Jewish people, women, members of the LGBTQ community and others for more than a year using the pseudonym “Clouseau,” a reference to the bumbling French detective in the “Pink Panther” films.

The NYPD first started investigating the claims after a report was provided to the department on Oct. 14.

Commissioner Dermot Shea called the postings “abhorrent” and “utterly disgusting.” Kobel could be fired after an internal investigation, Shea said.

Police say Kobel is cooperating with the investigation, but given the nature of the allegations, the decision was made to remove him while the investigation proceeds.

The allegations against Kobel were detailed in a report that a City Council oversight panel will make public Friday. City Council investigators linked the messages to Kobel by matching information in the “Clouseau” messages to publicly available details about Kobel’s life and career.

Kobel, a 28-year member of the department, was the second-in-command in the Equal Employment Opportunity office for four years before being elevated to commanding officer in May.

The office is responsible for preventing and investigating employment and harassment claims and has implemented policy changes in recent years providing for lactation rooms, enabling officers to wear religious head coverings and making accommodations for transgender officers.