The police brutality tour continues on nationwide.
This time, it made a stop in McKinney, a city of 131,000 people in northeast Texas, which, according to the 2010 census, is made up 75 percent white people and 10 percent black people.
The incident? A white police officer storming into a pool party last week and pulling his gun on black, unarmed teenagers in swimsuits, even shoving one girl in a bikini into the ground.
During his several minutes of running around, the officer, David Eric Casebolt, failed to notice that he was being filmed. The footage has gone viral, and Casebolt has since resigned from the police force.
In a funny but sardonic bit on the Daily Show Monday night, correspondent Jessica Williams joked that this incident was actually progress for relations between police and black people because no one was killed. Sadly, she’s right.
But now that incidents like these are becoming a trend, it is getting increasingly problematic.
And not just for the obvious reasons. The main problem that anybody can recognize is that police officers are abusing their power, and seemingly targeting minorities for unfair treatment and even physical abuse.
But there’s also a lot of secondary problems, too. And that lies in what these videos are conditioning people to think. Whenever one of these pops up, some are being very quick to use it to fit their narrative that systematic racism is a nationwide trend.
And it may be. These videos make it hard to say otherwise.
But by making generalizations such as “America is racist,” or “all cops are bad,” it perpetuates the belief. When in truth, we all know that not everybody is racist, and not all cops are bad people.
What these videos should be doing is motivating people to have discussions about race, and to contemplate the deeper meaning about what is happening. Just simply crying racism, or on the other side of the coin, completing ignoring the race factor and saying that all the victims in these videos are criminals who deserve what they got, accomplishes nothing.
As horrible as the video from McKinney looks, what I mostly get out of it is that there is clearly a systematic need for rigid sensitivity training for police officers.
These videos will likely keep popping up. And you have a choice. You can use them to fuel your racism narrative. You can try to justify why the police officer in question acted the way he or she did. You can even ignore them completely.
Or you can read some fact-driven articles and have intelligent conversations with your friends about it.
Or you can also eat a bag of mini muffins. That’s always an option for any situation.