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Michigan Police Officer on Unpaid Leave After Being Accused of Sharing Racist George Floyd Meme


Illustration for article titled Michigan Police Officer on Unpaid Leave After Being Accused of Sharing Racist George Floyd Meme
Photo: Stephen Maturen (Getty Images)

There’s a reason I generally never feel bad about the negative things I say and write about police officers. I’ve spent much of my life witnessing the disregard and even the contempt a lot of cops have for Black life. And that’s only based on what I’ve observed in person—I can only imagine what cops are saying about us behind closed doors.

Besides, it’s not like a cop is ever going to die with his neck under my knee.

On Valentine’s Day, The Root reported that LAPD officers came under fire for allegedly circulating a Valentine-style photo of George Floyd that read, “You take my breath away.” It was hurtful and disgusting, but not surprising—and certainly not behavior that is exclusive to the LAPD.

ABC 7 Detroit reports that a police officer in Sterling Heights, Mich., has been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending an internal investigation into a really fucked up Floyd meme the officer is accused of sharing. (I’m just speculating here, but for a police officer to be placed on unpaid leave—yeah, that cop did that shit.)

The meme in question features an image of Floyd in his final moments with former-officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck. The caption on the meme read, “When you gotta change a tire but don’t wanna get your trousers dirty.”

From ABC 7:

The city’s chief of police says once an internal investigation is done, the officer who is not yet being named could face serious discipline up to and including termination.

“If we’re not policing our own guys, I don’t blame any resident for not trusting a police officer when they get pulled over or arrested,” says Chief Dale Dwojakowski.

He adds, “As a police officer when you post something it carries tremendous weight. That’s why we have a policy that says you can’t post anything inflammatory against a religion, race, gender. Nothing like that. It’s all prohibited.”

As it should be.

Of course, there’s one thing infinitely worse than a cop making light of a Black person’s death—cops actually killing Black people.

So, I’ll end this write-up with a single question: Why shouldn’t Black citizens believe that a cop who is indifferent or contemptuous enough towards Black people to mock Black death is also the type of cop who will kill us unjustly?

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