Remember that time people were celebrating a video of a cop handing a black woman an ice cream cone instead of a ticket or a bullet?
Did anybody notice how fucking absurdly low our standard of behaviour is for cops? (Royal “Our” here–I largely mean white people who are not habitually profiled by the police).
A few months ago when I was walking to the store with my teenage son, a cop followed us on a busy highway, at a walking pace, all the way to the store. He stared at us coldly the entire time. When we entered the store parking lot he followed us in there too. Driving slowly behind us, all the way to the entrance of the store. He stayed there until we went in.
My son was shaking with fear the entire time. “Don’t say anything,” I said quietly, “Don’t make any sudden moves, don’t look at him. Just walk. We’ll be okay soon.”
“I shouldn’t have to be this afraid, Mom,” my son said, his voice wavering.
“I know, baby,” I said.
We entered the store feeling grateful to be alive and aware that if the police officer had decided otherwise, we would not have been.
Today, when I saw this video which has gone viral these past few days as a “feel-good” cop story, I finally made the connection. The video is of a black woman being pulled over by police. There is terror on her face as the officer walks up to her car. His gun is at her eye level. But the officer doesn’t reach for the gun — instead, he reaches for two ice cream cones to hand over to her and her passenger. Her terror gives way to the almost tearful relief that she is not going to come to harm at the hands of these officers. At least not today.
I haven’t killed anyone today. Does that mean I should get heaps of praise?
Is that really our standard now?
Hey, I’ve gone an entire day without shooting someone, somebody give me a pat on the fucking head and a gold fucking star.