Menlo College has terminated its contract with Phillip White, a part-time assistant basketball coach and San Jose police officer who generated widespread outrage after it was reported that he had tweeted threatening statements about civil rights' protesters.
Officer White had also served as head basketball coach at Menlo-Atherton (2007-2010) and Woodside (2011-2012) high schools as well as assistant coach at Canada College (2010-2011) according to his coaching profile on HoopCoach.org.
Officer White has been put on administrative leave by the San Jose Police Department while the matter is under investigation, according to a statement from the police department.
A story dated Feb. 11, 2014, in the La Voz Weekly from De Anza College about Officer White said he also taught a program at Santee Elementary School in San Jose to pre-teen children about life skills.
The website Buzzfeed on Dec. 14 reported that Officer White had tweeted a number of aggressive messages including: "Threaten me or my family and I will use my God given and law appointed right and duty to kill you."
The website posted screen shots of the actual tweets, although Officer White's Twitter account has since been deleted.
Another tweet shown on Buzzfeed's website says: "By the way if anyone feels they can't breathe or their lives matter I'll be at the movies tonight, off duty, carrying my gun." Many demonstrators had used "I can't breathe" and "Black lives matter" as slogans in their protests of recent police killings.
Buzzfeed says Officer White also tweeted a reaction to University of California at Berkeley women's basketball players who had joined in the protests by wearing black shirts with the "I can't breathe" and "Black lives matter" slogans and the names of black men who have been killed by police or lynched. Officer White's response, shown on a Buzzfeed screen shot is: "This is BS. Free education. Don't forget who is paying for your school @CalWBBall me & other CA tax paying cops."
In a statement Menlo College said: "Phillip White is no longer associated with Menlo College. The college will not be represented by expressions of intolerance and bigotry on the campus, on social media, or on the internet. As the matter is under investigation by the San Jose Police Department, we are unable to offer further comments on the particulars of the situation at this time."
Officer White had been at the college since spring of this year and his contract was terminated on Dec. 15, a spokesperson for the college said.
The San Jose Police Department also issued a statement about Officer White, quoting Police Chief Larry Esquivel as saying: "It is extremely important for the community to know the comments made on Officer White's private social media account do not reflect the thoughts or feelings of the men and women here at the San Jose Police Department. Nor do we condone this type of behavior."