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Report shows racist texts that forced Edgewater officers to resign

Sergeant, officer accused of sending inappropriate memes in group chat

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(Getty Images)

EDGEWATER, Fla. – More than two months after a pair of Edgewater police officers resigned, an internal affairs report has been released detailing the "derogatory and racist" text messages they allegedly sent.

The internal affairs investigation, provided to the media on Wednesday, involves Sgt. Matthew Snyder and Officer William Wetherell, who both resigned in October after they were confronted with screenshots from the group chat.

"I (expletive) up, I lost my job," Wetherell said in a phone call to his wife while he was meeting with the chief and captain.

In a text message conversation on Sept. 12, Edgewater police officials said Snyder sent a meme-style image with a message that read, "This just in, no work boots were stolen in the looting."

Wetherell replied, "Because black people don't steal things for work," according to the report.

Officials said Snyder replied with, "That's how you starve them. His (sic) their paycheck under their work boots," to which Wetherell responded in agreement.

Hours later, a different officer who was in the group text sent a picture of a rifle he had recently purchased. Police said Snyder replied with a meme showing looters at a store with text that read, "Black looters matter."

He went on to say that he used to have a similar rifle when he lived up North but sold it because there is "nothing big enough here to shoot with it other than blacks," the report said.

The officer who sent the photo said he initially thought Snyder was talking about black bears but then later realized the comment was inappropriate.

Wetherell chimed in during the gun conversation, saying, "Ur right. Can't forget about the (racial slur)," according to authorities.

Officials said Snyder and Wetherell admitted to sending the memes and text messages that "were of a derogatory and racist nature."

Snyder and Wetherell were found to be in violation of the department's code of conduct.

While resigning, Wetherell said he experienced a "lapse in judgment" by sending the texts and Snyder said he wasn't racist and the texts were meant as a joke.

News 6 has contacted the Edgewater Police Department for a comment on the resignations. This post will be updated when a response is received.


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