I will tell you that life has taught me that there is a segment of people that are quite simply disagreeable to get along with. Regardless of what you try, your best attempts at getting along peacefully will never be achieved. Fortunately, it is possible on most occasions to side-step such individuals by avoiding the places that they frequent and whatnot.
I am certain that you agree with me that the vast majority of this inability to get along with such people flows from the things that they have put into their minds; unfortunately, they need no assistance in achieving this action. It goes without saying that such individuals bring all of their ill-feelings and malicious thoughts into their interactions with those that they loathe. Although it may be difficult for most to accept, one of the most frequent perpetrators in such matters are law enforcement officers, particularly those who are not working in either their community of origin or patrolling citizens who do not look like them.
It is this situation that makes the brutal arrest of Austin, Texas, elementary school teacher Breaion King after a routine traffic stop in June 2015 predictable. King was stopped by an officer for traveling fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit; those facts are not being disputed. However, once King’s interactions with Officer Bryan Richter began, it became obvious that the so-called public servant had no patience at all for this diminutive Black school teacher whose major offense was not putting her feet back into her car fast enough for the officer. Within moments, Richter violently extricated King from her vehicle and slammed her to the pavement twice in an outrageous attempt to subdue her.
As if things could not get any worse, once Officer Patrick Spradlin arrived on the scene, things took a most interesting turn. According to a video recording, Spradlin enters into the following monologue regarding race relations and the stigmas that he attached to African-Americans.
“Why are so many people afraid of black people?”
“I can give you a really good idea why it might be that way, violent tendencies.”
“I don’t blame (white people)…because of their (African-Americans) appearance and whatnot, some of them are very intimidating.”
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo quickly condemned his officers’ for their rhetoric and discriminatory worldviews. To his credit, Acevedo related the following to those who doubt that there is a significant problem between officers’ and persons of color. “For those that think life is perfect for people of color, I want you to listen to that conversation and tell me we don’t have social issues in this nation. Issues of bias. Issues of racism. Issues of people being looked at different because of their color.”
Predictably, Chief Acevedo entered into a mode of protecting his job and the Austin Police Department by calling officer Spradlin’s comments“wrong and not reflective of the values and beliefs of the men and women who serve this community.”
Although I understand the idea of an internal police review and due process, however, I fervently believe that if the victim in this attack were a white woman, these officers would have been relieved of all duties, meaning summarily fired. Predictably, the offending officers have been taken off of the street; however, they are sitting behind a desk still collecting taxpayer dollars.
I guess that my primary issue is with law enforcement leaders such as Acevedo who publicly state that the attitudes and actions of rogue officers is not reflective of their agency, yet they still allow this unscrupulous element to continue to exist and fester among them. There is quite possibly no more definitive action that could come from law enforcement leadership than the immediate dismissal of officers for misconduct toward a citizen as it would send a message to both the community and the officers who have been entrusted to serve, not terrorize, that community. Unfortunately, that is not the world that we live within and I doubt that we ever will.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016