This one’s been making the rounds over the past couple days:
This is just chilling:
INSIDE the locker of a narcotics cop, Philadelphia police officials recently made a shocking discovery: A cartoon of a man, half as an officer in uniform and half as a Klansman with the words: “Blue By Day – White By Night. White Power,” according to police officials.
Schweizer, 33, joined the force in June 1997 and makes $54,794 a year, city payroll records show. He became part of the elite Narcotics Strike Force about six years ago. As an undercover, plainclothes cop who worked day and night shifts, Schweizer was part of a surveillance team that watched drug buys and locked up hundreds of suspected drug dealers. He frequently testified in court as a witness for prosecutors. [Philadelphia Daily News]
Racial disparities abound in the war on drugs, but most analysis of the drug war’s disparate impact focuses on institutional bias. Rarely are we confronted with such a disturbing window into the racist mindset of an individual officer. Such beliefs render one thoroughly unqualified to carry out law-enforcement duties in any capacity and raise serious questions about this officer’s past actions.
More troubling, however, is the possibility that Schweizer is just the tip of the iceberg. Is he a cartoonist? Did he draw the thing himself, or is there a larger organization that produces and markets police-themed racist merchandise to a clientele of closeted white supremacist police officers? I don’t know the answer, but this poster sounds like a logo for something very creepy.
Of course, this is just one anecdotal incident, but when such revelations occur within an institution with such a hideously rich tradition of racial bias, it certainly doesn’t feel like a coincidence. It is an unflattering portrait of our criminal justice system that adherents to such ideology are able to assimilate within it. Indeed, had he merely possessed the wisdom to keep racist cartoons out if his locker, this officer would still be hard at work filling our prisons with young black and Hispanic drug offenders.
Horrifying videos of police tasering people are finding their way onto the internet with alarming frequency as of late. This one from Utah has caused quite a stir:
This video depicting Sgt. James Kuehnlein terrorizing a young motorist has erupted on the internet, shocking the nation, and providing a poignant reminder that police lunacy is alive and well in the USA.
Radley Balko, one of our favorite fellow constitutional fetishists, has an informative FoxNews.com piece on the legality of videotaping police encounters. For those of you who are unsatiated by our FAQ about videotaping police, this should hit the spot.
I wonder: Aside from law-breaking officers, who benefits from laws prohibiting the videotaping of police officers?
On Thursday, Scott and I attended a book discussion, signing and reception hosted by the Open Society Institute. The event featured Friend-of-Flex, Professor Angela J. Davis speaking about her new book, Arbitrary Justice: The Power of the American Prosecutor. In light of the Nifong imbroglio, the timing of her exposé is perfect.
There’s something rather disturbing about TV ads for trade school criminal justice degrees. You may have seen them: “Call now to begin your exciting career in this growing industry! Help put the bad guys behind bars!”