Thursday, January 21, 2016

Police Murder: Probably Not As Accidental As Advertised

In case you missed, an officer from the St. Paul PD has made some waves with his face book post detailing how to murder Black Lives Matter demonstrators:

It's hardly shocking that a police officer would be so racist (though being so stupid as to do it so publicly is mildly surprising), but what's really disturbing about this is not that a police officer is advocating attempted murder of innocent people (because that shit happens all the time). No what's disgusting about this is how clearly Roth outlines how to do it -- not only the exact pattern of behavior to follow, but the script to employ to get out of it (remember: in America it's official state policy that if you're scared a Black person, you can murder them). This is a script that's been proven to work, as it formed the basis of the criminal defense of Zimmerman, Wilson, and multiple others. Especially chilling is the way he (accurately!) notes few juries are going to find fault with an upstanding white person for a crime as petty and meaningless as attempted murder of Brown people.

What makes this most disturbing is that this course of actions and scripts that allows one to, as Roth accurately if callously points out, almost assuredly get aware with it is likely not something he could have come up with off the top of his head while he was posting online. No, this is clearly something Roth has at least put a little bit of time into thinking about previously. And Occam's razor suggests that you probably don't spend a lot of time thinking about how to get away with murdering innocent Black people unless you think you might have some reason to need that information in the future. I mean, I don't plan on robbing any banks, so I don't have a detailed plan of how to get away with a bank heist just sitting here at the ready. I could probably come up with one if I spent enough time think about it, but why the fuck would I spend my time thinking of that if I'm not planning on ever robbing a bank?

Here's where one also has to point out that despite a string of disciplinary infractions on his record, Roth was elected the Vice President of the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police. Think about that -- this is not the "rogue agent" or "bad apple" police apologists love to blame this kind of shit on. This guy was elected to the second most powerful position of the group that is "The Voice of Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers."The guy who posts face book statuses about how to get away with murdering innocent people is someone the police chose to represent them.

Adding more glaring asshattery to the situation, Roth apologized. Kind of.

Because there are two glaring problems with Roth's apology. The first is this obnoxious line:

"As a law enforcement officer, I would never intentionally encourage someone to commit a crime."

Well, this is just empirically false. Because remember a few days ago when you literally encouraged people to commit a crime? You know, in the screen shot on this very post. So you can't say you would never do that, because you did do that.

But the most fucking aggravating, and telling, bit of the apology is this, when he says he regrets:

"exposing law enforcement officers to increased scrutiny, during this difficult time of ongoing conflict between officers and members of the community."

Seriously. He said that. His apology is not so much concerned about the fact that he literally attempted to incite the murder of innocent people, but instead the fact that his blatantly racist, illegal behavior might make the cops look bad. That is where his concern lies.

So please remember this during your next discussion of America's law enforcement: they don't mind murdering Black people, they're happy to advise others on how to get away with murdering Black people, and when the public finds out about their desire to murder Black people, they are sad that it makes the police look bad.

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