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The Tale of 2 Black Chicago Police Veterans, 1 of Whom Does Not Patrol the Sunken Place

Illustration for article titled The Tale of 2 Black Chicago Police Veterans, 1 of Whom Does Not Patrol the Sunken Place
Screenshot: Fox 32

Carmella Means, an attorney and 25-year veteran Chicago police officer, has been taking a lot of heat since last month when a photo went viral showing her kneeling in front of the Fraternal Order of Police’s headquarters while holding a sign that said, “Black Lives Matter.”

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First, let’s acknowledge that “Fraternal Order of Police” is the worst supervillain crew name anyone has ever come up with—the Legion of Doom would never.

“Just because someone wants a better police department or is standing up against corruption in the police department and police brutality, doesn’t make them anti-police. I am pro-police,” Means told Fox 32 in response to questions about the backlash she’s received from fellow officers.

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Means cited the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald as an example of police corruption.

“Jason Van Dyke unjustly murdered Laquan McDonald and shot him 16 times. The FOP fully supported him and gave him a job,” she said.

Twenty-seven-year veteran Officer Frederick Collins disagrees that an officer can be pro-police while kneeling for the cause.

Collins—who, like Means, is Black—filed charges against Means late last month, claiming that she violated its constitution and bylaws and “failed to create a spirit of fraternalism and mutual helpfulness among the membership,” Fox 32 reports.

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“To have organizations that wish us dead, call us the n-word, that destroy stores in our neighborhood, that promote violence...how could you kneel in support of that type of organization?” Collins told FOX 32, conveniently ignoring the fact that the Black Lives Matter movement, for the most part, has not called for the death of police officers, that most protests have been peaceful and that protesters aren’t the ones commonly calling anyone the n-word.

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“I think that if she had a gripe, the lodge offers you plenty of opportunity to bring anything before the members,” Collins continued. “I’ve been out there in the marches, I’ve held my fist up, but we aren’t going to kneel before anyone but God.”

*Deep sigh*

This coo…(actually, I’m pretty sure my editors won’t let me call him that)...This confused gentleman of the house negro persuasion really needs to stop. I refuse to believe he’s actually ever held his fist up for anything unless it was to punch a Black person for hurting his little fragile blue feelings.

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Collins—who I’m almost certain was Samuel L. Jackson’s stunt-double in Django Unchained—has basically decided that a police officer either needs to be an unconditional part of the blue wall, or they’re out of the club. This is why so many people remain unconvinced that systemic racism in policing is due only to “a few bad apples.”

Means—who told Fox 32 that she don’t even know this nigga (I’m paraphrasing)—only appears to want police officers in America to do better. She seems to understand that she can’t truly be proud of her profession as long as the entire culture of policing remains inherently racist. This is the kind of attitude we long to see more of coming from cops. Instead, what we see is any cop who dares to speak out either being fired or ostracized by their fellow officers.

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These charges brought against Means by Officer Bitchy McWhite-Adjacent shows us nothing different.

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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