A white San Jose police officer who shot a Black football player hailed as a hero for disarming a man with a gun at a restaurant last year has resigned after being exposed for sending racist text messages, including one that stated, “I hate black people.”
Former officer Mark McNamara is no longer with the force, following the discovery of his racially biased text messages by internal affairs investigators, San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata announced in a news release issued on Friday.
The colleague with whom McNamara exchanged texts has been placed on administrative leave due to their “concerning dialogue with the former officer.” These texts came to light during an unrelated criminal investigation into McNamara.
In March 2022, McNamara shot K’aun Green, a 20-year-old football player at the time, four times as Green was leaving La Victoria Taqueria after disarming a man involved in a late-night restaurant brawl. Green was hailed as a hero by witnesses but sustained gunshot wounds to the abdomen, leg, and arm. He subsequently filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city, which is pending trial.
According to the police, they believed it was an active shooter situation and issued commands for Green to drop the gun. Bystander footage, however, showed Green turning his back to the officers as he was leaving, and McNamara shot him as soon as he turned around.
In texts sent to a colleague shortly after the shooting, McNamara appeared to refer to Green using a racial slur and expressed indifference about the lawsuit. He also made derogatory comments about Green’s lawyers, two of whom are Black and one is Native American.
During the texts, McNamara continued to use racial slurs and displayed disdain towards the case, insisting that he didn’t care about the outcome. He also mentioned the district attorney’s decision not to charge him with excessive force.
McNamara’s texts included offensive language and derogatory remarks about the African American community, which were met with similar derogatory comments from his colleague.
In a press conference, K’aun Green expressed his shock and pain upon learning about the texts, emphasizing the emotional and physical toll the incident had taken on him. He continued to experience physical discomfort and depression, but remained committed to pursuing a career in the NFL.
Green’s lawyer, Adante Pointer, accused the San Jose police department of fostering a culture of racism and criticized the delayed action in terminating McNamara. He called for criminal charges against the former officer and for him to be barred from future law enforcement roles.
Police Chief Mata stated that criminal charges against McNamara are not expected.