Although racism is a long-standing issue in America, racism in those sworn to protect and serve their communities is especially impactful and disturbing. Police brutality has long been called out as a problem, the rise of social media and video cameras has brought it into the spotlight with evidence that has sparked outrage.
At a local park in Brownstown, Michigan, on the Fourth of July, a Metroparks office was caught on video berating a Middle Eastern couple and yelling racial slurs at them. Afterward, he claimed that the very common slur used against black and brown people wasn’t intended to be a slur at all. A local ABC affiliate in Detroit reports that:
‘Several people in the Facebook video posted Monday can be heard questioning the officer, if he allegedly said “Go back where you came from” to an Arab American family.
‘Seconds later, the officer is heard defending his comments, claiming he meant the state of Illinois. The recent video has been viewed thousands of times.’
Racism enabled: Michigan police officer suspended after driving with Confederate flag at 'Love Trumps Hate' rally.https://t.co/iWdCKNs5pl
— John Williams (@ashlandJohn) November 14, 2016
Although no one at the park was buying that excuse, the officer’s superiors are apparently willing to for now. No disciplinary action has been reported. The lack of oversight for police officers has been the subject of national debate quite heavily in recent years since the death of Michael Brown, a black teenager who was shot while unarmed.
‘The officer is still currently working for Erie Metroparks and has not been suspended. Park goers say they won’t stop coming there or enjoying the park, but they do hope disciplinary action is taken to make sure this doesn’t happen again.’
— FrankClark (@menes676) January 17, 2015
However, the officer’s boss says that the incident will be investigated. Those investigations rarely end in real consequences for police officers. While social media and cell phone videos have caught the attention and outrage of the public, it has so far not sparked much action by law enforcement officials to affect any kind of real change.
‘The Chief of Police tells 7 Action News an internal investigation is being launched, and will be fully transparent.’
— Racism AGENT (@racism_agent) March 29, 2015