The North Star has dropped its paywall during this COVID-19 crisis so that pertinent information and analysis is available to everyone during this time. This is only possible because of the generous support of our members. We rely on these funds to pay our staff to continue to provide high-quality content. If you are able to support, we invite you to do so here.
Not every police officer is a bad human being.
There are over 600,000 law enforcement officers in the U.S. Many enter the field with good intentions, believing they are the ones who will protect and serve their communities, only to realize that the American criminal justice system does not allow them to do that.
While police officers can be good people, there can be no good cops.
The justice system was built to protect the privileged while brutalizing the marginalized. It can only carry out its mission by ensuring it remains upheld by officers who will keep their heads down and blindly follow given orders. There is no room for hesitation. There is no room for dissent.
This fact was only proven by the case of Officer Williams, a Black police officer who posted a TikTok video voicing his thoughts on the murder of George Floyd, whose story has pushed those previousliy silent on issues of police violence to finally speak. Dressed in his police uniform, he gaves a passionate, thoughtful take on the unjust murder from the perspective of a police officer.
“It’s four of y’all, one of him. Four of y’all, one of him. Who has control of the situation?” Williams asked in outrage, “As an officer, you are a first responder. So if in the midst of you trying to gain compliance someone is hurt, you have to render aid.”
His critique and unique point of view quickly caused the video to go viral. Soon after, he was put on administrative leave pending an investigation by his superiors.
Two months later, he was fired.
Officer Williams should have been elevated within the police force. He should have been the goal. Instead, the department removed Williams from his job and made an example of out of him.
Even in the face of riots, protests and intense public backlash, American police are still unable to bring themselves to believe that Black Lives Matter, not the Black lives of the officers they employ, nor the lives of citizens they swore to protect but have brutalized time and time again.
In today’s episode, Shaun shares the story of Officer Williams and how his bravery in the face of adversity should set an example for all.