St. Louis Police Departement
Photo: Al Jazeera

Off-Duty Black Cop Shot By White Officer Speaks Out Via His Attorney

If you don’t think there’s a problem with racist white cops in America’s police force, just ask the black cop who got shot last week in St. Louis. He got to experience the problem firsthand—via a bullet courtesy of his white coworker.

The incident occurred last week and the officers involved have not been named.

A police chase snaked its way through the city and landed itself in the neighborhood of a police officer who was enjoying his time off. He decided to get off of his ass and help out when he heard the commotion and assist his colleagues. But instead of welcoming their fellow officer’s help, “police on the scene told the off-duty officer to get on the ground and surrender. He complied with their commands.” Another officer then came along who recognized him and told the others to let him get up. That’s when a fourth officer shot him.

The officer suffered only minor wounds—physically, that is. What this whole incident has done to his state of mind is anyone’s guess.

Following standard procedure any time a cop shoots a black man, the cop who pulled the trigger is now claiming that he “feared for his life.” The lawyer for the black cop, Rufus Tate Jr., claims that’s nonsense and the white cop was simply racist.

“In the police report,” Rufus told St. Louis Fox-affiliate KTVI. “there is no description of a threat he received. So we have a real problem with that. But this has been a national discussion for the past two years. There is this perception that a black man is automatically feared.”

He went on to add that “a black professional, in law enforcement, himself being shot and treated as an ordinary black guy on the street. This is a real problem.”

Indeed it is, Rufus. But you know what? Where was your client when Michael Brown was shot in the street not far from your client’s neighborhood? Was he outspoken about racism in law enforcement—specifically within the St. Louis Police Department, one of the most racist in the country? Was he a “good cop” then—or a participant in an oppressive system that needs to be dismantled.

The cop who was shot will likely get a good amount of money out of this and may never have to work again,. So now he can speak out. Is that what it takes? Black cops getting shot by their white coworkers to speak out against racism that plagues police?


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