Two years ago, LAPD officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas shot and killed Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Now, they are suing, alleging that the department is racially discriminating against them by keeping them on desk duty, because Ford was black and they are not.
The NYPD has, according to various reports, been “investigating” years-old racist Facebook posts made by one of its patrolmen. “Racist cop” is not exactly the most surprising news the world has ever presented us. What’s noteworthy about this instance of racism from a person nominally sworn to equally protect all citizens is that the policeman, Gregory Gordon, is already infamously known as the NYPD cop caught wining with various women at the city’s West Indian Parade in 2011.
This week, white America learned the names of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, for the same reason it learned the names of so many black men it would otherwise be content with avoiding, ignoring, or beating down upon: because Sterling and Castile met some police officers, and the police officers treated them without mercy.
A piece of art inspired by the minor scandal currently unfolding over a Denver municipal building, in the style of the pieces of art that inspired the scandal, might look something like this: a painting of a piece of art hanging on a wall, and the art is just the word “ART” painted in red on a canvas, and a policeman is trying to take the art down, and the artist is trying to stop him.