The police of this nation and their defenders point out the unfairness of labeling all cops as racist or profiling black males. But what is true is that there is a culture of profiling, brutality, and racism among the nation’s police.
This is proven by the Plain View Project. The PVP examined the public profiles of police officers from eight jurisdictions since 2017 and their findings were published last Saturday in Injustice Watch and BuzzFeed News. What they found goes beyond disturbing.
The project found thousands of posts and memes that were racist, conspiratorial, and expressing a desire to use tasers and deadly force on suspects.
A captain in the Philadephia Police Department shared a meme featuring Sammy Davis Jr. with the caption, “Instead of hands up don’t shoot, how about pull your pants up don’t loot!” A comment from another Philly cop about a young black male accused of shooting an elderly woman called for a firing squad.
One meme shared by an officer showed a police dog baring its teeth, with superimposed text that read, “I hope you run, he likes fast food.”
A cop in York, Pennsylvania posted on Facebook, “Too bad this MF didn’t resist and meet a very violent and painful demise. Would have saved the taxpayers a LOT of money,” regarding a black male suspected of killing a detective.
The project matched about 14,400 listed officers to public Facebook profiles.
The Phoenix Police Department says they’re going to look into the matter. St. Louis claims they’re looking into it as well. Other departments examined are in Dallas; Denison, Tex.; and Twin Falls, Idaho; and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.
The Philadelphia department has placed 72 cops on desk duty, pulling them off the streets while an investigation is being conducted. Perhaps every police department in the nation should be conducting a continuous effort to monitor all officers’ social media posts. Every cop in the country should have his social media posts looked at. If they find cop brutality hilarious, then they shouldn’t be a cop.
The project’s founder, Emily Baker-White said three major trends emerged in the posts she and her colleagues collected: posts that seemed to endorse violence by officers or members of the public, posts that appeared to show bias against minority groups, and dehumanizing language that referred to protesters or people of color as “animals” or “savages.”
She also said, “One of the most disheartening things in the posts we saw are the comments under them. Some of them are by citizens, and some are by police officers. There’s very much a pile-on culture, where someone may say something violent and the folks under that will ramp it up and say something even more violent or discriminatory. The feedback loop there has led a lot of people to lean into their worst instincts.”
The Phoenix Police Union is upset over the investigation and accusing it of an anti-cop bias. He highlighted how Phoenix police have used Facebook to raise money for charity and left out posts like the one by Officer Joshua Ankert who congratulated George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin for walking after dark while being black, the day after his trial and thanked him for “cleaning up our community one thug at a time.”
In Phoenix, 73% of the city’s 2,937 police force is white, while 19% is Hispanic, in a city that is 43% Hispanic. With 42% of the city being white, the police department is not representative of its citizens. That may be where the problem begins in all communities.
Another Phoenix cop, Rueben Carver III posted, “It’s a good day for a choke hold.” No, Officer Rueben, it’s a good day to fire some racist cops.
Watch Me Draw.