I’m going to beat the (expletive) European (expletive) out of you whitey.

May 12, 2010

Shocking?  How about if the slur is accompanied by a swift kick to your head as you lay face down on a concrete surface. How about if five police officers are standing around you as you lay there? How about if another one of them comes over and stomps on you?

What you have read above is true with the exception of two words: Change “European” to “Mexican” and change “whitey” to “homey”  and you will have the words of a Seattle police officer responding to an armed robbery call on April 17th in the Westlake neighborhood.   If you want to fill in the first expletive, add “fucking” and for the second expletive, add “piss.”

Video of Seattle police officer kicking suspect and using racial slur

It turned out the Latino man was not the robbery suspect and they let him go. Such malicious harassment and abuse of power is never justified, guilty or innocent.

The Seattle Police Department  released a statement saying it’s “aware of possible officer misconduct” and an internal review is under way.  The 15-year veteran police officer has apologized.

This is systemic racism where deeply ingrained prejudice roars its ugly head and power is abused. It’s not just about one officer or one incident.  It’s about the refusal of many of us to admit how racism permeates everything.  As long as we remain in denial, or separate ourselves from it because we are a member of the dominant culture, others will suffer the consequences. As long as we shake our heads, but remain quiet and take no action; the system will continue to perpetuate this racist violence.

How will you respond? This was a hate crime and should be treated as such.  Let these people know what you think: Interim police chief John Diaz (206-684-5577), Seattle mayor Mike McGinn (206-684-4000), the Seattle City Attorney’s Office (206-684-8200) and the King County Prosecutor’s Office (206-296-9000).  Break the silence of racism.

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