High-ranking ‘anti-harassment’ NYPD cop a virulent racist: City Council probe
A high-ranking NYPD official who was supposed to investigate harassment hid behind a pseudonym as he made virulently racist remarks on a popular police message board infamous for its vitriol — including referring to the Bronx DA as “a gap-toothed wildebeest” and NYC’s public advocate as the “twitching missing link,” according to a draft report by the City Council’s oversight committee.
The report, obtained by The Post, says that Deputy Inspector James Francis Kobel used the handle “Clouseau” to post “racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and homophobic sentiments” on the The Rant forums 500 times between the summer of 2019 and fall of this year.
The high-ranking cop even attacked his own in numerous messages, calling a pair of female cops of color were “gutter sluts” and “f–king animals” and a Palestinian-American lieutenant a “goat-f–king Palestinian scum bag.”
Kobel, who is a 30-year veteran of the force, was removed from his command and place on modified duty after the NYPD received the report on Oct. 14, a police spokesman said.
“While the evidence provided in the written report was circumstantial, it merited immediate investigation by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau,” Deputy Commissioner Richard Esposito said. “Deputy Inspector Kobel has cooperated with the investigation, but given the nature of the allegations and the sensitivity of his assignment, the decision has been made to remove him while the investigation proceeds.”
The final 13-page report is scheduled to be released on Friday by the City Council’s Committee on Oversight and Investigations Division, which is chaired by Councilman Ritchie Torres.
Kobel could not be reached for comment.
The vitriolic postings by the 50-year-old Kobel — who was tasked with addressing workplace harassment in the NYPD as the commanding officer of NYPD’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity — stood out even on the The Rant message board, where cops use pseudonyms to complain about their jobs often in colorful and distasteful terms.
But like the bumbling “Pink Panther” inspector from whom Kobel got his handle, the NYPD cop’s ignorance was his own undoing. He left a trail of breadcrumbs that allowed investigators to piece together who was making the hateful comments.
The investigation connected Kobel to the account after through a series of specific personal and professional pieces of information, including the death of his mom, his proposal to his wife and his in-laws beach house.
Kobel attacked local officials, such as Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams, and national politicians, referring to President Obama as a “Muslim-savage,” Minnesota Congresswomen Ilhan Omar a “filthy animal” and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as “too much Chardonnay drinkin’, loose denture wearin’, no class havin’ t–t.”
Last December, he described Mayor Bill de Blasio’s son, Dante, as “brillohead.”
Additionally, according to the report, in the lead-up to the firing of Officer Daniel Pantaleo, took aim at Eric Garner and his family in posts.
Kobel wrote Eric Garner was “a morbidly obese, diabetes havin’, high blood pressure ignorin’, asthma havin’, chicken wing eatin’, grape soda drinkin’, loosie sellin’ fat bastard.”
He was also one of the cops pushing for officers to call out on July 4th as part of “blue flu” strike, the report says.
The New York Times first reported the report’s existence on Thursday afternoon.
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