BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) — A former police officer who was fired from the Berkeley Police Department took screengrabs of disturbing text message conversations allegedly exchanged between officers.

Ex-Berkeley police officer Corey Shedoudy took screenshots of text messages exchanged between officers assigned to BPD’s downtown and bike task forces. The messages were released by the Office of the Director of Police Accountability.

The messages contain banter between officers who allegedly targeted homeless and Black people for arrest quotas.

“81 arrests! We can do 19 by Friday for sure!” stated one text attributed to police Sgt. Darren Kacalek, who is also union president of the Berkeley Police Association.

Kacalek did not respond to KRON4’s request for comment.

Berkeley city councilwoman Sophie Hahn wrote on Twitter Tuesday, “I’m saddened and outraged by the racist and anti-homeless texts exchanged between members of our police officers.”

Shedoudy claims Sgt. Kacalek ordered he and his fellow officers to make 100 arrests per month. Officers used tactics such as stop-and-frisk, even without a reasonable suspicion of a crime, to meet the quota, according to Shedoudy.

BPD text
(Screengrab of text messages provided by Office of the Director of Police Accountability)

In a group chat, Sgt. Kacalek’s name is attributed to a message stating, “I’m on my third triple Jack and Coke. This is definitely a ‘drink’ day. Stern is gonna come back with a new strain that wipes out the homeless pop. We will just ride by the bodies!”

Kacalek has served on the Berkeley police force for two decades, according to Berkeley Police Association’s website.

The authenticity of the text messages has not yet been confirmed by city officials. A spokesperson for the city said Berkeley officials are hiring an external investigator to probe further into the allegations.

Hahn wrote, “The establishment of arrest quotas or stop and frisk type policies, formal or informal, go against our values as Berkeleyans. This deeply distressing situation is about more than just a series of text messages. It reflects a culture of hostility toward our unhoused neighbors and those suffering from mental health issues who need our support, not our scorn.”

Interim Police Chief Jennifer Louis said the allegations are “extremely concerning and they deserve to be investigated thoroughly.”

The alleged text messages were exposed just days before the City of Berkeley was set to appoint Louis as its new permanent police chief.

Shedoudy and a watchdog group, Secure Justice, said Louis should not be sworn-in until an investigation is conducted into what she was aware of.

“The Berkeley police department is not that large. I find it not convincing that she knew nothing. She may truly be ignorant, but I believe, you know, there’s no need to approve her contract tonight,” said Brian Hofer of Secure Justice.

Louis said she just became aware of the allegations on Thursday, and that if she had been notified of the alleged arrest quota policy, she would have opened an investigation.

“I was appointed as interim chief in March of 2021, after the alleged incident occurred,” Louis said.