Twitter account that reportedly made racist remarks may be linked to Cambridge police lieutenant

The department says it's investigating the matter.

–Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff, file

Cambridge police are investigating one of their own after a member of the department may have made racist statements on a personal Twitter account.

In a statement, the department said it knows of the “deeply disturbing social media statements” and the department’s Professional Standards Unit has begun an investigation.

“As a general matter, the City does not monitor employees’ use of their own private social media outside of work,” the statement said. “However, while the Department recognizes that employees have a right to free speech under the First Amendment, the Department will not tolerate statements that are inflammatory, discriminatory and/or disrespectful to any individuals, races or ethnicities that are linked in any way to an Officer’s employment as a Cambridge Police Officer.”

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The officer suspected of using the account hasn’t been on duty since May, according to the statement, due to “unrelated matters,” the statement said.

While the officer remains unidentified in the statement, Jeremy Warnick, a spokesman for the department, told the Cambridge Chronicle that the department is investigating Lt. Shawn Lynch, who has served in Cambridge for about 20 years.

The Twitter account in question, @CPD496, has since been deleted. The number 496 is Lynch’s badge number.

Though the Twitter account has been deleted, the Chronicle documented some of the tweets before that.

One of them was directed at U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley after she posted a photo of herself for Alopecia Day.

“With or w/o locks you be ugly. Comes from the inside,” the account tweeted, according to the newspaper.

Another tweet reportedly targeted Democrats.

“They are willing to crash the economy and hurt millions of hard working people to get Trump out. Today’s Democrats are American Jihadists,” the tweet said, according to the Chronicle.

The account also reportedly retweeted remarks made about the Black Lives Matter movement, the newspaper said.

“Black Lives Matter is the most dangerous, violent, and vile hate group in America,” one of those retweets said. “There is no white supremacist group that even gets close to BLM in terms of the threat that it poses to human life.”

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The Twitter account and investigation comes just months after Supt. Jack Albert publicly apologized for “inadvertently” sending a tweet through the department’s Twitter account calling U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III “another liberal f[——] jerk.”

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