13 Philadelphia police officers to be fired after social media investigation

The Philadelphia Police Department is suspending 13 officers with an intent to fire them following an investigation into offensive and sometimes threatening Facebook posts.

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Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross announced Thursday that along with the firings, 56 officers will be disciplined. It's seen as a “start” by activists, who raged in protest outside the police department and later met with the mayor and police commissioner.

"We’re looking at the infrastructure that allowed people to think they could get away with it. That they could actually patrol in these communities and say they hate the people in the communities publicly," activist Solomon Jones told FOX 29.

“I am very troubled and I understand the dismay that the public would have because we have it as well," Ross said during a Thursday afternoon press conference.

A database known as the Plain View Project found 328 city cops made potentially offensive posts on Facebook. 72 were disarmed and pulled off the streets. The police commissioner says the 13 being let go posted about violence. 

Hans Menos leads a city police watchdog group.

"It very well could be that many officers should have been dismissed but were not because of a high threshold. I don’t know the answer, but I really wanna find that out," Menos said.

It’s expected the powerful police union will fight to return the fired officers to the force, but for some residents that will be a step too far.

"We should be able to trust the officers. They are required to protect and serve. We love our police officers but we should be able to trust them," Tammy Jones said.