Sarah here again, writing for some extra participation points. Today in my Person in Society class, I heard about an incident I’d like to share with you guys here.
In late March, a Richmond police officer was filmed telling a group of “black and brown” middle school children, “Wait until your asses turn 18, then it’s mine.” Here’s a link to the news article which inclues video footage:
It is impossible to prove that this was a racially charged remark, but given the attitude of white cops are notorious for having and the fact that all the kids he spoke to were people of color, I am leaning more towards motives of malice than stupidity. In the video, there appears to have been some sort of verbal exchange before he says his remark. As a police officer you are supposed to be trusted by the people you’re being paid to protect. You’re not being paid to get in verbal fights with middle schoolers and say ambiguously racist remarks. This is but a small symptom of the massive oppression that goes on society towards people of color by police officers.
Fixing the large-scale problems that culminated to this instance is not something that can be solved overnight. Ending racism and oppression in our society will include massive changes over time and it is hard to pinpoint where to start. My solution-focused perspective on this issue would be to focus on specific instances of racism and address them.
I think the police officer should first of all apologize to the students he verbally attacked. He should also undergo cultural competence, diversity, and youth training. It would also be a good idea to have him volunteer with children in some sort of community service. He should definitely have a supervisor oversee his progress and make sure he is working well with the kids. If any other prejudiced instance occurs after this then he should be fired.