How Are Racist Cops Making America Lousier Today?
Who watches the watchers? Everyone on the internet.
Two viral videos making the social media rounds present a fascinating contrast in how cops in totally different cities treat unwhite folks with whom they interact. Don't get us wrong -- the difference here doesn't involve one cop treating Latino people horribly and another cop treating them well. Heavens, no! Both cops are shitty, but in wholly different ways. Let's compare and contrast, shall we, class?
First, there's this video of a cop in El Paso, Texas, who responded Thursday evening to a bunch of pre-teen kids yelling at him by telling them to "back up," and then by, naturally enough, pulling his gun on them,because brown children apparently only understand threats of deadly force. The police were responding to a criminal trespass call, but it's unclear why this cop had a teenager pinned against a wall -- sometimes with the cop's knee against the kid's head. The video was originally posted to Facebook by one "Aj-king Stoner," and then was removed by Facebook, but the internet is pretty generous with copies:
After the cop and his partner drag the kid into the street and handcuff him, the cop then whips out a baton to herd the kids out of the way, as they continue to shout at him, because he is really a dick. When the teen's brother, recording the incident on a cellphone, yells, "It's all good Güey. Güey, we're going to put a report on these two fools. It's all good," Officer Verymanly grabs the brother and cuffs him too, because you don't go recording Officer Verymanly. The boy hands the phone off to his mom, and then the cop chases her, shouting "I know where you live," because she cussed at him. Then the cop also cuffed a third kid for questioning why he'd pulled a gun on a group of minors. We would like to ask that, too!
KVIA reports Officer Tough Guy has been on the El Paso force for four years, and has been put on desk duty while the incident is investigated. The police want to -- we are not making this up -- determine whether the cop "violated any police procedures." Gonna have to check to see when waving a gun at kids who look to be ten years old is considered OK in the ol' cop book.
For our second example of How Not To Police, we go to the Chicago area, where a cop for the Cook County Forest Preserves was recorded standing calmly by and not doing a damned thing to help a Puerto Rican woman who repeatedly asked him to do something about a drunk guy harassing her for her un-American shirt. Here's one of several excerpts that blew up on the Twitters Monday, although the incident was filmed June 14:
This is CRAZY! Watch as the white officer ignores this woman begging him to protect her from this racist! This man… https: //t.co/5Tv7kShv3T
— StanceGrounded (@StanceGrounded) 1531131861.0
The woman, Mia Irizarry, had reserved a pavilion at the Forest Preserves (looks like a "park" to us) for a birthday party, but the drunk had some very important geopolitical matters to question her about, like whether she's a US citizen. She insists she is, what with Puerto Rico being part of the USA, but Whitey McDrunkerton insisted the US only "protects" Puerto Rico, which is wrong from just about every possible angle. Besides, if she's American, she wouldn't be wearing such a horribly offensive outfit with the flag of a non-American place on it:
Drunky De La Patriot gets quite literally in her face several times, at one point informing her,
You're not going to change us [...] The world is not going to change the United States of America. You should not be wearing that in the United States of America.
Oh, so close, but sorry, Mr. Whiteass, the phrase is "You! Will not! Replace us!" (Swap in "Jews" as needed.) Damn fool is never going to be invited to the big Unite the Whites rally now. At no time does the cop so much as raise his voice to the guy. On the up side, the cop also didn't seem interested in arresting Ms. Irizarry for wearing an illegal outfit.
In a YouTube copy of the full 36-minute video Irizarry posted to Facebook (also now removed, because such is the internet), it eventually becomes clear the cop had originally arrived at the picnic area in response to a whole different call involving the drunk guy and some friends, which may be why the cop thought the drunk subsequently harassing Irizarry was none of his concern, despite her calls for him to do something. She was just sort of invisible, we guess.
At one point, Ms. Irizarry observes with disgust that the situation probably would have been considerably different had it been a black guy yelling at a white woman. See, she's the racist. Good news, though: More cops eventually showed up, and the drunk guy was arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct.
For his part, Dudley Do-Nothing of the stuffed and mounted police has been placed on desk duty as the Forest Preserves police investigate his behavior and, presumably, his eyesight:
All people are welcome in the Forest Preserves of Cook County and no one should feel unsafe while visiting our preserves.
— Forest Preserves (@Forest Preserves) 1531174122.0
You really have to be impressed by the many ways in which police can dehumanize people -- either by using disproportionate force, or by not helping them at all. One of these days we're going to post a video of a cop de-escalating a tense situation through basic good policing, and nobody's going to believe it. (Psych! It'll be from Denmark or something.)