This black off-duty police officer did what the on-duty police officer told him to do and still got shot. What gives?
Not even a badge can save a black man from being shot by a cop
It is a false belief that following the orders of a cop whether they are right or wrong will ensure that a law enforcement officer will not murder a person of color. Philando Castile followed the orders of the police officer. The police shot him to death. Levar Jones followed the orders of the police officer. The police filled him up with lead. This time, not even a badge could save a black off-duty police officer could get isolate him from the people of color treatment by cops.
The St. Louis Dispatch reported the following.
ST. LOUIS • An off-duty officer was wounded by "friendly fire" as police looked for suspects after a stolen vehicle fled police and crashed late Wednesday. The injured off-duty officer was treated at a hospital released on Thursday. The suspect was also treated, and released into police custody.
At Barnes-Jewish Hospital early Thursday, Interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole told reporters the off-duty officer had come out of his home to help after the stolen car crashed nearby, and was hit in the crossfire between officers and suspects who had been in the car. But police now say the off-duty officer was shot by a fellow cop who did not recognize him as an officer, in a separate encounter away from the initial crash.
According to a department summary of the incident released later Thursday, two officers who encountered the armed off-duty officer ordered him to the ground. He complied. When they recognized the off-duty officer, they told him he could stand up and walk toward them. Another officer just arriving at the scene saw the off-duty officer get up and, not knowing he was an officer, fired his weapon once at the man. He hit the off-duty officer in the arm, the department said.
It is ironic. Many times police officers of color are much harsher on communities of color than white officers as if they believe it buys them some implicit personal safety card. They are willing to join the blue line of silence instead of acknowledging that in fact there is a bias in policing communities of color, specifically black and Latino men. Just maybe this incident will be a wake-up call not only for officers of color but the entire law enforcement industry.
Also published on Medium.