Bad cop, bad cop
Much like Morty’s wife in the Swiffer sweeper commercial, we’ve all been living in a fool’s paradise. Her floors are dirtier than she thought. And so are the police.
The tipping point was a revealing video captured by Feidin Santana, a 23-year-old barber originally from the Dominican Republic. Santana had the wisdom to tape and the fortitude to share what turned out to be a rebuttal to the fantasy version of a tragic story.
North Charleston police officer, Michael Slager reported that Walter Scott “attempted to gain control of his taser gun and was (subsequently) shot in a struggle over the weapon.” Never mind that Mr. Scott was shot five times in the back. All any cop needs are his safe words: “I feared for my life” or “He put his hand in his waistband.” Slager’s fellow officers sweetened the fairy tale by reporting heroic efforts to bring Walter back from the brink.
All in a day’s work, God bless our boys in blue.
And that would have been that, if not for our Dominican dude with a smart phone.
So we all watched what really happened. We did see that taser gun but only after Officer Slager retrieved it and dropped it next to Scott’s lifeless body. As for the lifesaving efforts of the other cops – never happened. They wouldn’t even turn his body over to get his face out of the grass. Reminiscent of bad cops leaving Mike Brown in the street for four hours and bad cops failing to make any attempt to revive Eric Gardner or 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
You would have to be a fool to believe this is an isolated incident. African Americans have described excessive force and the planting of evidence for years. It’s time we believed them.
Nothing has changed since Rodney King got the snot beaten out of him. Mike Brown, Tamir, Eric, John Crawford, Ernest Satterwhite and Walter Scott were all greeted at the Pearly Gates by Trayvon Martin who just shook his hoodied head.
To be fair, not all bad cops are racists. Look no further than the bizarre case of a white man fleeing, on a stolen horse, from San Bernardino County Sheriff deputies in the California desert. After the suspect, Francis Pusok, fell off the horse and laid face down in a spread eagle position to surrender, the news chopper footage revealed a horrifying sight. Eleven deputies came running to attack the downed man like a pack of wild hyenas. One bad cop is seen swinging his place kicker leg back and then, with all his might, kicking Pusok in his man parts so hard it made me tear up.
I went to school with a miserable little bully who tortured baby birds and stuck firecrackers up the butts of stray cats. None of us were surprised when he chose the police academy over college. And why was that? Because if we’re honest, we all know the M.O. of a bad cop. He’s an arrogant, envious, entitled, power-hungry little man with a God complex, but in reality suffers from low self-esteem.
People say the majority of cops are good. Maybe they are. But not in Ferguson where the Department of Justice report found “a pattern and practice” of civil rights violations or Cleveland where the DOJ uncovered their consistent use of excessive force. Recognizing good cops in this argument is like pointing out all the skinny people when addressing obesity in America.
Law enforcement needs to do a better job of screening and training to eliminate this scourge that weakens and shames us all. And good cops need to do their part and stop covering up for bad cops.