Support Your Local Police
It turns out that the professional communications of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police are replete with racism and violent threats against minorities.
Actually, everyone who’s ever listened into to police chatter, or who has read the bigoted pronouncements of the president of the local cop union, or anyone who has followed the news in this age of cell phone cameras:
In a series of text messages, a white supervisor and other police officers in Montgomery County, Md., talked about preparing for a “race war,” and expressed hope that Black Lives Matter protesters would be killed, according to a federal lawsuit filed this week by a Black colleague.
The officer, Mark Miles of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, says in the lawsuit that his supervisor and other officers repeatedly made racist, hateful and offensive comments on a group text chain that was used to discuss work assignments and other business.
The officers sent the texts, which were excerpted in the lawsuit, as protests set off by the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis in May 2020 swept across the United States, increasing scrutiny of police brutality and racism.
At the time, Officer Miles, who was hired in October 2019, was the only Black officer in his squad, known as “Shift 5,” which he joined in March or April of 2020, and which operated primarily in Montgomery County, outside Washington. The department also polices parks in Prince George’s County, Md.
According to the lawsuit, the unit’s supervisor, Sgt. Stephanie Harvey, questioned whether Officer Miles, who is mixed race and identifies as Black, would be “on our side” in a “race war.”
Another time, she said she was “ready” for a “race war,” and added, “I need more ammo though,” the lawsuit states.
During roll call on Aug. 4, 2020, Sergeant Harvey referred to a squad meeting about two weeks earlier during which she had told the chief that the department should not support Black Lives Matter demonstrators.
“Why didn’t you speak up?” Sergeant Harvey asked Officer Miles, according to the lawsuit. “You’re the only half-colored on the squad.” The other officers laughed at the comment, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit says that while Sergeant Harvey may have been suspended in March 2021, she and other officers who engaged in “racist vitriol” are still employed by the department and several of those who made racist comments have been promoted to supervisory roles.
He was removed from the Shift 5 text message group, stopped getting invitations to group dinners and was pressured to transfer out of the unit, the lawsuit states. Although he wanted to remain in the squad, the lawsuit states that, in November 2021, he was “involuntarily transferred” to a less desirable night shift.
This is a feature of policing in the United States, not a bug., and if you are surprised, you have not been paying attention.
We need to completely remake law enforcement in the United States.