Officer Put On Leave For Tweeting To Bait Public Into Violence
from the bad-cop-bad-cop dept
It seems like there are so many police-behaving-badly stories that have come out recently, it’s no longer all that noteworthy. Mind you, I don’t know that the policing situation is generally actually getting worse, as it might seem, or if there is just simply a greater willingness to shine a spotlight in some very uncomfortable places within our own society. That said, what does remain interesting is watching how police around the country react to this spotlight. Watching the unfortunate reactions to athletes showing support for protesters, for instance, would be hysterical if it weren’t so sad. Those stories appear to indicate that some within law enforcement appear to think that protecting some members of the population is a task with which they can be selective.
But, hey, at least those police representatives weren’t directly attempting to escalate the confrontation in the most insulting way possible. Reader Tim A writes in with an ironically-named Officer Phillip White’s suspension from multiple jobs for using social media in an attempt to convince us he’s the biggest asshole alive.
The San Jose Police Department said Officer Phillip White was sidelined after officials learned of statements made Saturday from his Twitter account. In the tweets, White said he would kill anyone who threatens him or his family. He also said he would be off-duty at the movies with his gun if anyone “feels they can’t breathe or their lives matter.”
The tweets and hashtag played on protest slogans “I can’t breathe” and “black lives matter.”
For a member of law enforcement to actively attempt to bait members of the public he is sworn to protect into a violent confrontation is stupid on levels I’m seriously having trouble conceptualizing. The good news is that the San Jose police reacted swiftly and took this clown off the streets, hopefully removing the gun he’d been boasting about as well. In addition to being placed on leave by the police department, Menlo College also relieved Mr. White of his duties as an assistant basketball coach.
“The college will not be represented by expressions of intolerance and bigotry on the campus, on social media, or on the Internet,” the college said in a statement.
Look, free and open speech is immensely important, but anyone who thinks it’s okay for a public officer to publicly bait members of the public to a potentially violent confrontation in public is publicly dumb. Nearly as dumb as Officer White, who thought that hurried attempts to delete his tweets would keep him out of trouble. We shouldn’t want to hear from him again until a well-thought-out psychiatric evaluation is conducted.