When anyone insinuates that cops are racist, they’re said to be willfully painting with too broad a brush. Sure, there might be a few bad apples, but the fact that police officers stop, arrest and kill black people in disproportionate numbers doesn’t mean that all police officers target black people. If you’re going to say that, you’d have to prove that it’s systematic. You’d have to be able to show something crazy like a statewide police department ignoring violent white extremists and, instead, targeting nonviolent, anti-racism protesters.
There’s no way that could be true. After all, the brave first responders put their lives on the line to protect and serve the American people. You’re just anti-cop, aren’t you? OK, let’s just create a wild scenario that would prove widespread racism.
First, your information would have to come from a reputable news outlet, like The Guardian.
Then you would have to show a real intent, not just a subconscious bias. You’d need to show that the police worked with a group that was blatantly racist, like the Traditionalist Worker Party, the group of white nationalists the Southern Poverty Law Center says “advocates for racially pure nations and communities.”
OK, let’s say The Guardian discovered this unbelievably racist scenario. You still would have to prove it. They’d need documents of some sort. What if they found police reports that aligned officers of the California Highway Patrol with the TWP? Of course, it could never happen, but if it did, it would be the first step in proving that police were racist.
But it would only be the first step. Next, you’d need some kind of event—let’s say the Nazis in the TWP organized a rally. At this racist rally, imagine if three people were stabbed, and all three victims were anti-racism protesters.
Oooh, I know! Let’s say one of the anti-racist activists who were stabbed and bludgeoned—let’s just call this (not) imaginary victim “Yvette Falarca”—was then arrested, jailed for two nights and charged with assault, inciting a riot and participating in a riot. In the detailed report about why Falarca should be charged, it was noted that she often fought for the rights of students of color and women, as if those things were crimes. Wouldn’t that be proof enough?
No? Well, what if one of the people who were stabbed implicated one of the organizers of the protest, Derik Punneo? Still not enough?
What if the police knew Punneo had a knife? Do I still need more?
What if video evidence showed Punneo near one of the stabbing victims? What if Punneo was arrested on an unrelated charge, and police used the opportunity to—instead of questioning him—show photographs of anti-racism activists so that they could go after them, including the people who were stabbed. What if all of this was recorded?
Even better, what if there was another anti-racism activist who was stabbed in the abdomen, chest and hand? What if the police found photos of that man on Facebook holding up the Black Power salute and then wrote a report that it was evidence of his “support for anti-racist activism” and demonstrated his “intent and motivation to violate the civil rights” of the Nazis? What if the report recommended that he be charged with 11 offenses, including disturbing the peace, conspiracy and unlawful assembly?
Am I getting close to proving cops are racist?
OK, there’s one more thing I’m going to tell you. Keep in mind that everything I say can be documented:
I want to tell you about Donovan Ayres, a California Highway Patrol investigator. There is a recording of Ayres talking to the man who obtained the permit for the march, Doug McCormack. In the phone call, Ayres promises Nazi leader McCormack that he will protect him. The investigator tells McCormack that he will keep his name a secret. Ayres knows that McCormack was armed with a knife on the day of the march, but McCormack was not charged with a crime.
If anyone could prove this, it would show that the cops are racist. But alas, it’s just a scenario that actually happened, but which no one would ever believe.
Steve Grippi, the chief deputy district attorney prosecuting the case in Sacramento, denied accusations of bias. The California Highway Parol would not comment. However, they are still trying to prosecute the stabbing victims the Nazis helped police hunt down. Prosecutors refuse to dismiss the case.
Derik Punneo, Doug McCormack and two other members of the Traditionalist Worker Party who are shown in police photos carrying knives at the time of the stabbings have never been charged with a crime.
Blue Lives Matter.