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A Philadelphia homicide detective is under investigation for calling a colleague a “filthy savage” and a “grotesque, primal animal” in a letter–a situation that devolved into a series of racially charged insults.

The letter, written by a white homicide detective and 22-year veteran, was taped above a trash can in the Homicide Unit.

Among other insults, the letter says: “As I’m sure you were not burdened by significant schooling, and were birthed to an alcoholic, absent father and a rancid whore of a mother, you are simply ignorant of the fact that you are little more than an upright animal.”  

“The tone and the tenor of the letter raise questions about whether racial bias or inappropriate biases … were involved with the message,” Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

Guardian Civic League President Rochelle Bilal said the letter was filled with stereotypes about blacks, and that “anybody in this institution of service to the community that makes any of these statements like this shouldn’t be on the job.”   

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