The Atlanta Police Department confirmed on Wednesday that it launched an investigation of a Black officer caught on video using racial and homophobic slurs at a local Black Lives Matter leader, the Associated Press reported.
In the two-minute video, recorded on Jan. 26, Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta president Sir Maejor Page approaches officers about illegally parked vehicles in the area. Page asks them if they’re currently working for the Atlanta Police Department. One of the cops, who’s in plainclothes, tells Maejor to “get the fu_k away from me.” After Maejor persists, the cop calls him a “f_ggot-as_ nig_a” and walks away.
“I’m not one of those citizens who will roll over,” Page told the New York Post. “He’s obviously used to talking to people like that and people not doing anything about it. I wonder how he talks to gay folks and transgender people?” Page filed a formal complaint but received no immediate response from the Atlanta Police Department.
Expect white racists to exploit this situation if police internal affairs gives the Black cop a pass on his offensive language. They will likely argue that there’s a double standard when white officers use the N-word. If history is a predictor, the officer will get a minor slap on the wrist for his abusive and unprofessional conduct. Data shows that officers routinely get away with worse misconduct, including criminal activity because police unions have a lot of leverage to protect officers. This case requires appropriate punishment–not because of how white racists would respond but because it’s never OK for a police officer, regardless of race and especially a Black cop, to hurl the N-word at a civilian while on duty.