NYPD Deputy Inspector James Kobel Placed On Modified Duty As Department Conducts Investigation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A high-ranking member of the NYPD has been placed on modified duty, accused of posting racist and anti-Semitic comments online.

He allegedly called President Barack Obama a “Muslim savage” and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s son, Dante, a “brillohead.”

These are just a few of the comments attributed to NYPD Deputy Inspector James Kobel, who was the commanding officer of the NYPD’s office of equal employment opportunity.

“It is fair to say the equal opportunity officer is an equal opportunity bigot,” Bronx Councilman Ritchie Torres said.

Torres notes the cruel irony that Kobel was in charge of preventing and investigating employee harassment claims, but now he’s the target of the City Council’s new report.

It finds Kobel used the pseudonym Clouseau and posted hundreds of hateful comments in an online message board known as “Law Enforcement Rant.”

“Postings full of anti-Semitism, racism, sexism, misogyny,” Torres said.

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“Clouseau” allegedly wrote about Orthodox Jews: “I think that eventually all of the inbreeding may lead to the demise of these clowns.”

And about Eric Garner, who died from an apparent police chokehold: “A message to the rest of the Garner family … skip the grape soda and Cheetos and try a salad once in a while.”

“It is one of the most disturbing situations,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “This is going to inflame the current tension between the NYPD.”

Kobel’s union implied in a statement he was set up, saying, “James Kobel is a dedicated professional who adamantly denies these specious allegations. Unfortunately, he has conducted thousands of internal investigations over the last several years. Clearly, he has angered some people along the way.”

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea says as they look into this, they’ve relieved Kobel of his command and placed him on modified assignment.

“The allegations, if true, that it can be attributed and proved to a member of this department, I am saddened and I am disgusted by it,” Shea said.

The police commissioner says Kobel could be fired, pending the outcome of the NYPD investigation. Kobel’s union says the inspector looks forward to being fully exonerated once all the facts come out.

Cuomo says all of the officers who post hateful comments on that message board should be investigated.

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