It’s starting to feel like white people are in a competition to see who can have the worst take during this period of social upheaval. Today’s contestant is Travis Yates, a major in the Tulsa Police Department who has come under fire after going on a podcast and making some truly wild comments.
According to the Hill, Yates went on The Pat Campbell Show and said police officers are shooting black people “24 percent less than we probably ought to be.”
That, uh...that’s gonna be a big yikes for me, dog.
Yates was on the podcast to discuss the nationwide protests against police brutality that have occurred in recent weeks. Obviously, he is not a fan.
From The Hill:
Yates, in the podcast, knocked the protests that have erupted nationwide following Floyd’s death and the subsequent arrest of the officers involved.
“The officer was arrested the next day. They were prosecuted, they were fired. What are you doing? What do you mean, ‘justice?’ Justice at this point has been done,” Yates said on Monday. “Well, then it turned into systematic racism, systematic police brutality.”
“This is what they’re trying to say that all these changes need to come from: this is why we’re protesting, this is why we’re rioting. Because of systematic abuse of power and racism. That just doesn’t exist,” he added.
After rightfully being called out for his headass comments, Yates wheeled out the “taken out of context” defense that white people have grown so fond of in recent years. “I never said ‘actually.’ This is plainly false and factually inaccurate. And to think that beyond a discussion of comparative statistics that I would suggest that the ‘police should actually be shooting’ anyone is simply outrageous.” Yates said in a statement to KTUL in Tulsa.
This isn’t the first time Yates has said some truly egregious shit. “Would we even know where Ferguson was if Michael Brown would have simply got out of the street like the officer had asked him to do?” Yates asked in a 2016 essay entitled “Follow Commands or Die.” “Can anyone produce me a video of a police officer telling someone to do something, they comply and then the officer just shoots them. Can you imagine that video?” Yates goes on to ask in the essay. Literally a week after he wrote this, Charles Kinsey was shot by a Miami police officer while laying on the ground with his hands up. Only a few months later, one of Yates’ fellow officers in the Tulsa Police Department shot and killed Terrance Crutcher while he was standing in the middle of the street with his hands up.
It doesn’t appear Yates will face any disciplinary action for what he said. Tulsa Police Capt. Richard Meulenberg was seemingly indifferent when asked by Public Radio Tulsa about Yates’ comments.
“Everybody’s got a right to their opinion. Obviously, he being a major with the Tulsa Police Department, it carries some weight that he has his opinion, and we’ll have to just kind of go through this. I mean, I can’t speak upon the thing that he talked about here because I don’t have the data. I can’t refute or substantiate what it is that he said here,” Meulenberg said.