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Politics?? In MY police force??????
Cops are getting suspended for violent post-election posting :-)
If you voted in last week’s election, was there some kind of digital messaging that encouraged you to do so? A particularly convincing Instagram slideshow, one of those pictures of RBG in heaven with Kobe Bryant, a passionate Twitter thread about the importance of down-ballot races?
Or was it… this:
This election cycle did not exactly bring out the best in any person or institution involved. Brands told us to vote with cutesy emails. Celebrities got naked and begged us to register, an unseemly display (even from the hot ones!). Everyone’s parents went batshit with the Facebook reshares.
Despite the fact that, you know, explicit political expression is a big no no for a supposedly neutral force designed to maintain totally apolitical “law and order,” our boys in blue obviously had to get in on the fun.
Cop unions were, surprise surprise, all in for Trump, especially after their rank and file members spent a summer spent crying in their squad cars outside fast food restaurants and getting called short by TikTok teenagers.
The New York City Police Benevolent Association endorsed Donald Trump in mid-August, its first such endorsement in decades. (Side note: In this article on the PBA’s own website, it kind of seems like Trump didn’t give a fuck—Trump said, “I assumed it was given out,” after Lynch told DJT he “earned” it.) In early September, the largest police union in the U.S., the Fraternal Order of Police, backed Trump like it had in 2016, releasing a statement that said it was “crystal clear” the president “has our backs.”
I don’t know for sure that these endorsements from the politically powerful entities that represent them emboldened cops to be… especially expressive of their… beliefs, but it probably didn’t hurt. Too bad, though—Trump lost, and at least three cops have already faced consequences at work for threatening to commit acts of pro-Trump violence online.
In Platteville, Colorado, Jason Taft was placed on administrative leave on Wednesday after posting a series of Facebook statuses fantasizing about fighting Biden supportings, “Dems,” and BLM. “Democrats you were scared of Trump now’s the true time to be afraid. We will do what you have done to our city’s and prevail p.s. please meet me at the battle grounds,” Taft wrote. As of Thursday, it appears the post had eight likes.
In Flomaton, Alabama, police caption Scott Walden resigned after he was placed on administrative leave over a Facebook comment on a post disparaging Biden voters, saying “they should line up every one of them and put a bullet in their skull for treason.”
In Marshall, Arkansas, police chief Lang Holland resigned over the weekend after screenshots of his Parler account circulated on Twitter. Oof, advanced racism, Lang—but not advanced enough!
Of course, it’s a joke to pretend the police are apolitical. American policing is inextricably connected to its roots in chattel slavery and colonialism, and to this day, police are deployed tactically in order to control the populations and deal with the structural problems—like homelessness, mental illness, and substance abuse—that scare our politicians, and the corporations that pay them.
It’s almost less surprising to see them “picking sides” both on and offline than it is to watch them get caught and face the consequences.
Blocked and Reported
On November 2, cops with the Austin Police Department “accidentally” posed for photos with a coterie of Trump-supporting bikers and a couple of Proud Boys. Oops! APD told its local NBC affiliate they’d investigate whether the pictured officers violated department policy, while a spox from the local police association called the photos part of the everyday, vital community outreach APD participates in. I bet it was.
On Friday, November 6, police sergeant Gilbert Monzon of Coral Springs, Florida was suspended after posting two TikToks filmed on-duty making fun of his Mexican-American coworker. When questioned, Monzon apparently “blamed his children for changing the account from private, and he argued he doesn’t know how to use TikTok.” Snitch.
Fans of the ‘stack have probably already seen this Times story about NYPD officer James Kobel, fired Thursday after he was caught posting racist shit on the famously racist message board Thee Rant… along with a ton of super specific dates and life milestones that helped investigators with a New York city councilor’s office nail him. If you haven’t read the whole thing, it’s a treat. How do you spell racist?