A typical September day in Philly. Oppressive humidity. Swarming flies. Cicadas making eerie outer-space sounds. In the media, another story about bad cops:
The city of Philadelphia will pay $2,000,000 to a Black woman who was pulled from a car, beaten by officers and had her toddler used for social media fodder by the police union, officials say.
A month earlier, the cop news was just as awful. A grand jury recommended that perjury charges be brought against three now-retired Philly homicide detectives who testified in the 2016 retrial of a black man who has since been exonerated after serving 25 years on rape and murder charges. The exonerated man sued the city and settled for $9.8 million in 2018. (Above, my response to an Inquirer writer who tweeted about the case.)
Whites who sympathize with Black causes also get the treatment. Last week came news that Philly was being sued by a White woman who was tackled and injured last year (there is video of the incident) by a “notorious” cop during a protest of the police killing of George Floyd. The same cop, now retired, will stand trial for assaulting another White protestor (also on video) at a separate protest against police violence.
“I don’t get it,” I told Swamp Rabbit. “These cops live in the age of camera phones but they behave like it’s 1971. The cop labor union defends them. They act like thugs and cost Philly taxpayers about $10 million a year.”
“Same old, same old,” Swamp Rabbit replied. “The peeps who actually run this town, and most other big towns, would rather keep paying out millions than try to make cops behave. They figure most peeps — white peeps, that is — will take the cops’ side when somebody gets their head kicked in.”
It’s true. White America was shocked and then disgusted by the Floyd incident last summer, but the outcry for reform fizzled after certain activists associated with the Black Lives Matter movement unwisely said they wanted to “defund the police.”
Naive white liberals don’t want to believe it, but we’re back to Square One. Last year, a black writer at The Nation put it this way: “…When it comes time to deal with institutional purveyors of racism, as opposed to individual bad actors, the outrage and support of the white community is not there.”
I showed the article to Swamp Rabbit and said, “Read this and you’ll know why Donald Trump is talking about running for president again.”