There’s heartwarming news coming out of the cop shop.
Ever since two black men were arrested outrageously (but not charged) in a Philadelphia Starbucks in April after a manager reported them to police for attempted Using a Bathroom While Black, an avalanche of insane incidents of racial profiling against black people busy living their lives has broken out all over America.
In Tennessee, an African-American real-estate investor inspecting a house had cops called on him in May by a white woman who wanted him driven from the neighborhood. Employees and a manager of a Pennsylvania golf course called the fuzz in April on a group of women playing golf — too slowly, they thought. A black graduate student in Yale University’s African studies department had campus police called on her by a white student who found her sleeping in a common room of their dorm in May.
The intolerant cop-callers — who’ve been labeled by disgusted Twitter users with handles from #PoolPatrolPaula to #IDAdam — reached a new level of ridiculousness July 4, when a white manager of a Memphis apartment complex called the police on a black man — for wearing socks poolside.
Socks! From a picture posted to Facebook, the man, Kevin Yates, 25, appeared to be modeling an ordinary pair of white gym socks. He said he wore the offending fabric to prevent his tootsies from burning as he played with his girlfriend’s two godsons. (Imagine the fury if he’d kept on his shoes.) He refused to lose the contraband foot coverings, as the woman demanded, or leave.
As Yates later said, this wasn’t about the contents of his wardrobe, as other people, all of them white, donned non-pool attire, including shirts and hats. This was about the color of his skin.
Then, something beautiful happened. Amid all the ugliness — the racist pool weenies, the mad footwear fashion police — authorities stood up to the bigots and, in a loud, clear voice, said “No!’’
Law-enforcement officers refused to be used as the bigots’ best friends. In incident after incident caught on video, entitled morons who counted on cops to do their bidding found themselves facing responders decidedly unamused by the people wasting their time. Some callers were threatened with arrest.
A woman, who allegedly hit a black teen last month whom she said “didn’t belong’’ at her local pool (though he and his friends were guests) was arrested and charged with assault and battery and two counts of assaulting, beating or wounding a police officer while resisting arrest.
The reason for the poolside (or neighborhood or golf course . . .) justice is clear. The men and women in uniform are protecting black folks victimized by prejudice, not their harassers. They’re behaving courteously, professionally and, above all, fairly.
Our country is in good hands.
In Yates’ case, the apartment complex manager was fired.
A white North Carolina man was also fired after he demanded identification from a black woman swimming with her son last week, and responding cops essentially blew him off. The Tennessee real-estate investor facing a hate-filled woman had perhaps the best encounter of all, after two cops quickly realized that the man, Michael Hayes, had every right to be there.
“You keep the camera rolling,” a white male officer told Hayes in a video posted to YouTube. “If you have any problems with her, what I want you to do is call me back over here and she will go to jail today. I don’t fool around.”
The woman then told Hayes to “hurry up” and do what he had to do and then “get out” of the neighborhood.
“No, he can take all day,” the cop replied. “He can do it all night, it doesn’t matter. He’s in control, he’s got a contract, so that is what it is.” The officers stuck around while Hayes took pictures. For his safety.
As these incidents, and more, demonstrate, the overwhelming majority of police are on the side of decency. Remember this when the mood strikes to malign all cops for perceived racial villainy.
The men and women in blue have all of our backs.
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