A San Francisco police officer already suspended for sending racist and homophobic text messages is now possibly headed to jail on a bank robbery charge.
Prosecutors said Rain Daugherty, 44, was arrested Tuesday and charged Wednesday with bank robbery after a teller identified him as the suspect who entered the East West Bank in the city’s Sunset District on Nov. 29, the San Francisco gate reported.
Daugherty reportedly handed a note to the teller demanding a stack of $50 and $100 bills before fleeing the scene. He managed to get away with a little over $9,000 in cash, an FBI agent wrote in the court filing.
If convicted, Daugherty could spend the next 20 years behind bars.
The officer, who has been on unpaid suspension the last three years, is among nine current and former city officers who sued to keep the Police Commission from disciplining them for exchanging racist, misogynistic and anti-gay texts with each other in 2011 and 2012, KTLA 5 reported. The incendiary messages were uncovered by federal agents during a corruption investigation into Sgt. Ian Furminger, who was a plainclothes officer at the time.
One of the messages declared “white power,” while another likened African-Americans to “monkeys.” According to a court filing, Furminger also wrote that “cross burning lowers high blood pressure!”
Daugherty later filed papers saying he was “deeply ashamed” of authoring the racist texts, expressing remorse for his actions. That did little to stop the disciplinary proceedings against him, however, and he was suspended from his job in 2015.
Daugherty appeared at a hearing Wednesday afternoon and remains in police custody.
In court documents, FBI agent Gary Grzymala wrote that the officer entered the bank at around 2 p.m. and slipped the teller a note demanding cash. Grzymala, who spoke to the witnesses and authorities at the scene, said the teller told him the man said something to her like, “Calm down, just do it,” during the robbery.
Surveillance video from the bank showed the suspect to be a white male with a light-colored beard wearing a plaid button-down shirt and a baseball cap, according to the SFGate. Photos of the man were then sent to the local police department where Daugherty was identified by two internal affairs officers.
Later during a photo lineup, Grzymala said one of the bankers was unable to identify anyone as the suspect, but another banker picked out Daugherty.