The city of Detroit is suddenly finding itself with one less police officer. This loss isn’t due to a tragic death or a retirement – it’s because of a poorly spelled and possibly racist Snapchat post. Nope, we’re not kidding. Yes, this is real life.
The officer has only been out of the academy for two months, according to Police Chief James Craig. That made termination of the officer pretty easy since he had not yet been confirmed. The officer had already been noted as being one to keep an eye on before. His probationary period had already been extended because his commanding officers felt he had some issues worthy of concern when it came to “his adaptation to training.”
Police Chief James Craig described some of the training:
We emphasize in the academy: integrity and service to community … Officers in the academy go out and serve food to the homeless, work in soup kitchens, because we want our new officers to have an orientation.
Chief Craig was called by several of his officers to inform him that the rookie officer had posted something on Snapchat that proved his true feelings about the community. The officer’s post made it glaringly obvious that he wouldn’t be able to protect or serve the community fairly. The officer was suspended on Sunday and fired on Monday after a hearing.
So what did he post? A seflie. Now, the image itself wasn’t the issue. It was the caption he posted with it that got him terminated so quickly.
Presumably the officer meant to use the word wrangle. In most parts of the world, the word means arguing. For the worldwide audience who is a bit confused as to why the word is so offensive, in North America, the word wrangle is typically defined to mean:
round up, herd, or take charge of (livestock)
The officer flat out called the people of the community he served “zoo animals.” His job is to protect and serve his community, helping wherever he is needed to keep people safe. Instead, the officer described his job as rounding up animals. Considering over 85% of the community is made up of people of color, the racist tones in his words didn’t go unnoticed. Chief Craig said the officer did show some remorse during the hearing, but it wasn’t enough to save his job.
As of Monday, he is “no longer a Detroit police officer. He is clear on that.”
Twitter is fired up over it.
You don’t think it’s at all problematic for an officer to think this way? And you wonder why people have a distrust of police officers. It’s because this is the way some of them think and act.
— JONeBLAZE (@JONeBLAZE426) September 25, 2018
He’s not real police. Real police understand that they are part of the neighborhood and the citizenry in that area. Zoo animals is just an unsophisticated take showing a lack of understanding of the role.
— Doc Ock (@nilayspatelmd) September 25, 2018
Detroit cop fired for posting racist Snapchat selfie
Presumably, Bostwick meant me would “wrangle up” (not “rangel up”) the “zoo animals,” likening Detroit’s more than 80 percent Black population to inhumane beings, and stripping them of their personhood.https://t.co/ttINvUFeRs pic.twitter.com/g4h2yA6BZF
— Bucky with the Good Arm (@benjancewicz) September 26, 2018
H*LL……..WHEN SUM1 SHOWS U WHO THEY ARE………BELIEVE THEM
— FLINT (@EllisIsland810) September 25, 2018
You need to capitalize that, unnecessarily.
— Stephanie Lincoln (@possumpig) September 26, 2018
Good on them for taking decisive action. Dude has the wrong attitude, and there is too much power in policing to give to people who dehumanize others.
— Laura Robinson (@noconflictof) September 26, 2018
I was thinking the same thing….
— B (@bshields68) September 26, 2018
White, black, blue… I don't care what color he is! This is shameful!
There really needs to be separation between the person and the profession when it comes to blatantly racist and morally corrupt police officers.
— Tammera Ferguson (@taptap67) September 25, 2018
“I suspended him on the spot as soon as I saw that post. […] This is highly disturbing. I've been getting phone calls from black officers, white officers, male and female officers — and they're all disgusted. This isn't reflective of the officers who work in this department.”
— Tirzah Duncan (@TirzahDuncan) September 24, 2018
This is not the way a police officer should behave, and hopefully, we won’t have any more like this man.