Following an investigation, it was found that two London police officers had shared “inexcusable” WhatsApp conversations, and they have been fired from the force. One of the comments compared Meghan Markle to a racist caricature toy.
PC Sukhdev Jeer and PC Paul Hefford, who was fired, worked for the Metropolitan Police’s Forensic Services division. According to Newsweek, PC Richard Hammond, another officer, was also implicated.
According to officials, the three people belonged to the WhatsApp group “But They Promised.” On the group, they allegedly posted texts that were “vile.” One of the disputed messages was circulated not long before Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal nuptials in 2018.
Some of the messages that were posted included a “golliwog” meme with the caption, “A sneak preview at Meghan’s wedding dress.”
The Golliwog is “the least known of the major anti-black caricatures in the United States,” according to the Jim Crow Museum website.
“Golliwogs are grotesque creatures, with very dark, often jet black skin, large white-rimmed eyes, red or white clown lips, and wild, frizzy hair,” the museum adds. “Typically, it’s a male dressed in a jacket, trousers, bow tie, and stand-up collar in a combination of red, white, blue, and occasionally yellow colors.”
Commander Jon Savell, a member of the Metropolitan Police’s Professional Standards Division, said that a small group of officers communicated the disgusting texts in 2018 in a confidential WhatsApp group.
“I hardly need to explain that such behavior by anyone, much less a police officer, is utterly reprehensible. These three should not be excused for their acts, Savell continued.
“The entire Met is focused on finding anyone who engages in this kind of behavior and discredits the organization and the people it serves.
“Behavior like this will not be permitted in any way, shape, or form, and we are emphasizing that to our officers and personnel constantly.”
A picture of two White women with two Black men was shared in another message on the WhatsApp group. The photo was captioned: “Girls’ trip to Jamaica. One came back pregnant, the other came back with syphilis. (Just kidding, they’re both still missing.)”
Chief Superintendent Marcus Barnett, who oversees the Met’s Central East region, issued a statement in which he said: “This repulsive behavior understandably damages that trust and I want to apologize to every single member of the public we serve in this area. These officers have, rightly, been sacked.”
In 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex left their positions as senior members of the royal family and moved to the United States. The couple opened up in an interview with Oprah Winfrey last year about their lives in the palace, including shocking revelations about racism in the Royal Family, mental health, and how their relationship had been over the previous few years, according to Face2Face Africa at the time.
Additionally, Prince Harry revealed to Oprah that racism in the UK was a major factor in their decision to flee. The Duke of Sussex continued by citing a chat he had with a person he referred to as being “friends with a lot of editors,” according to Newsweek.
“He said, please understand that the UK is very bigoted. And I stopped and I said, the UK is not bigoted. The UK press is very bigoted, specifically the tabloids. Is that what you mean?” he said.
“He goes, no, the UK is bigoted. And I said, I completely disagree. But unfortunately, if the source of the information is inherently corrupt or racist or biased, then that filters out to the rest of society.”