The Miami Police Department is getting ridiculed on the internet for a Black History Month stunt gone terribly, terribly wrong. On Thursday, Miami police revealed a “Black History Month” cop car, in front of the Black Police Precinct & Courthouse Museum. The vehicle is red, green and yellow—which are the colors of the Pan-African flag—and contains an outline of Africa.
It also depicts raised Black fists. Mayor Francis Suarez stated: “This is a beautiful collaboration to commemorate Black history and Black History Month and the history of African Americans and our police department and our city. This is Black history.”
Miami Police Chief Manuel Morales added that the car honors the legacy and history of the Black police precinct and the first Black officers who joined the department in 1944: Moody Hall, Clyde Lee, John Milledge, Edward Kimball, and Ralph White.
“They stood against all odds, not only against those in the community who wished to stop them but members from their own department that wished to stand in their way,” Morales said. The timing for this performative gesture—on the heels of the Tyre Nichols funeral—was condemned by many.
In response to the unveiling, former president & director-counsel of LDF (NAACP Legal Defense Fund) simply tweeted: “THIS CANNOT BE.” Another user hilariously stated: “Imagine getting racially profiled by a cop in a Kente cruiser.”
In addition, police in Columbus, Ohio also decided to share their Black History Month cruiser on Wednesday as well to “celebrate the achievements of African Americans & recognize their roles in our history.” The tone-deaf nature of these actions is harrowing. Black folks are disproportionately targeted, harassed, arrested, incarcerated and killed by law enforcement.
The answer to this injustice is way more complex than decorating a cop car—do better.