The university discovered nine officers were involved in an inappropriate meme exchange via a group chat.
Hampton University, a historically African-American university in Virginia, announced on Friday that nine of its police officers have been fired for sharing “misogynistic, racist and other offensive remarks.”
According to a letter of termination, university officers were involved in a “meme war,” reports ABC News.
“The ‘Meme Wars’ is described as a jovial release of photographs and captions designed to levy insults at others in the group as well as persons outside the group,” the letter said.
A statement from the school explained that nine of the university’s 25 officers were fired for “egregious violations of the university’s code of conduct.”
The officers involved said none of the messages were put on social media or revealed publicly and that they would exchange the memes via group chat.
Hampton University released a statement saying it has zero tolerance for this type of behavior and a full investigation has been launched.
One of the fired officers has already been hired to work as a Petersburg, Va. officer, according to NBC 12.
Petersburg Police Chief Kenneth Miller said the officer had applied four months before being fired from Hampton University.
“Petersburg is a place where we give everybody a chance. We’re looking for quality employees. Integrity is our business…It would be just as harmful of me to make an allegation against someone without knowing all the facts, one, and two, not being that leader that gives someone an opportunity to present them self as they truly are,” Miller said.
He added that the department may require additional sensitivity training to make sure officers know not to cross the line.
A second officer who was fired from Hampton University has applied to work at the Petersburg Police Department and Chief Miller said the application is currently under review by Petersburg’s Human Resources Department.