Torrance Police Chief Mark Matsuda. Photo via City of Torrance
Torrance Police Chief Mark Matsuda. Photo via City of Torrance

Torrance Police Chief Mark Matsuda was suspended from his job following allegations he made hostile remarks about women, blacks, gays and Muslims, according to media reports.

Matsuda, the city’s first Asian-American police chief, told the Daily Breeze he was relieved of his duties until Feb. 13 after an investigation was opened in October when a personnel complaint was filed involving members of the Torrance police.

In a statement issued to the newspaper, Matsuda said the city opened an investigation conducted by an independent third party. The investigation included interviews with several witnesses and review of documents, according to Matsuda.

“The city’s investigation was concluded and presented to the city manager for disposition,” Matsuda wrote. “The city’s investigation of this matter demonstrates that the city’s policies, including disciplinary policies, apply to the highest offices and personnel in the Torrance Police Department, including myself.”

Torrance police Deputy Chief Bernard Anderson was leading the force in Matsuda’s absence.

Matsuda declined to tell the Daily Breeze what the allegations against him involved, but officers had sent material to the newspaper alleging that Matsuda had not promoted the interests of racial and ethnic equality throughout his department and made constant remarks against women, homosexuals, African- Americans and Muslim communities.

Craig Shiosaki, president of the Torrance Police Officers Association, declined to discuss the matter involving Matsuda.

“It is a confidential personnel matter,” Shiosaki told the newspaper. “It isn’t appropriate for me to comment on those. We do support the decisions of our city leadership.”

The Torrance City Council was informed about the chief’s suspension but the panel was not provided with details, City Councilman Mike Griffiths told the newspaper.

Matsuda was appointed to the $251,000 a year-job in April 2014. Matsuda became the city’s 10th police chief, running a department with a budget of more than $75 million.

— City News Service

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