One of the stubby holders.
Twelve police officers have been charged over racist stubby holders mocking African migrants in Melbourne’s west.
About 50 stubby holders were reportedly made for and distributed to police officers from the Sunshine police station.
One side featured a cartoon image of a mudfish with the words: “Sunshine police. Whoever says Sunshine brings happiness has never worked here.”
The cartoon refers to a derogatory slang for African people, which is sometimes shortened to “muddie”. Mudfish are a bottom-feeder fish commonly eaten in Sudan and other countries.
The other side has the words “My date of birth is 01/01/?” referring to refugees from Africa and other war-torn countries who do not know their date of birth.
The items were believed to have been produced last year and were used regularly at the station’s “mongrel” drinking nights.
The disciplinary charges relate to the stubby holders, a photograph and email use at Sunshine police station.
Three of the 12 officers facing disciplinary hearings have been suspended.
A statement from Victoria Police said the force would not comment any further because of the disciplinary process.
A spokeswoman said the process would be dealt with by an internal disciplinary hearing. None of the charges are criminal.
In June, it was revealed that Bairnsdale police had stubby holders that carried racist references to Aboriginal people. The stubby holders were shaped like police-issue capsicum spray and were discovered in 2010. No officer was charged at the time and police are conducting an internal review of the disciplinary process .
Police agreed earlier this year to launch a public inquiry into racism as part of a settlement of a Federal Court case brought by 16 Africans, aged 13-20, and an Afghan man, aged 23.