According to a new report from the State Auditor’s Office, there is disturbing racial bias when it comes to the conduct of California police officers. That information is the equivalent of telling Black people that water is wet—we are more than aware of this fact.
The audit reviewed five law enforcement agencies across California including: Stockton Police Department, San Bernardino and San Jose police, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. What they discovered was discrimination against Black and brown people as well as immigrants, women and members of the LGBTQ community.
The most harrowing part of the report was the treatment of Black folks in police custody or incarcerated. One officer’s disgusting behavior is described below:
“[He] filmed Black incarcerated individuals from a distance and narrated, ‘Black Lives Matter’; he later explained he had been sarcastically responding to their sagging pants. In a separate video, while off duty, used the n-word several times while repeating song lyrics and also said in a sarcastic tone, ‘For George Floyd.’”
Another “admitted he had jokingly teased an incarcerated Black youth about watermelon and chicken. The officer explained to investigators that he was trying to say, “Black people eat watermelon and chicken.”
“Biased conduct” was the phrase used to describe what was revealed in the 95 page document. The social media of accounts of 450 officers were also put under a microscope. Some openly supported organizations like the Proud Boys, neo-confederate organizations and Three Percenters. A total of 13 active officers posted racist content, with an additional 4 officers doing the same before joining law enforcement.
The report ultimately concluded that there needs to be social media and internet screening of officer applicants. It also recommended state leaders to demand “more frequent and thorough training.” But America knows that there’s no reforming an institution that was founded to capture and torment Black people.