A Black Cincinnati police officer is under investigation by his department for a Facebook post that essentially delivers what is commonly known in the Black community as “the talk.”
In the since-deleted post, officer Freddie Vincent urged friends and family to comply with the demands of White officers if stopped “because they are looking for a reason to kill a Black man,” reports Cincinnati.
“Yep it has made world wide news now…A message to all my Afro America friends and family. When you are encountered by a white officer make sure that you are in a public place, and comply to all of their commands, because they are looking for a reason to kill a black man,” read the post by Officer Freddie Vincent that has since been deleted. “And always keep your hands in the air, and never resist. I’m so tired of cops using these famous words ‘I was in fear of my life.’ I’m praying for Louisiana that could have been my nephew in B.R.”
Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said in a statement Thursday that the post is under review as it relates to the department’s “social media procedure and our rules and regulations,” the report says.
Just last week while speaking at the memorial service for fallen Dallas police office, Barack Obama, mentioned “the talk,” saying, when parents raise their kids right, they have “the talk” about how to respond if stopped by a police officer, according to a White House statement:
“[W]hen mothers and fathers raise their kids right and have “the talk” about how to respond if stopped by a police officer — yes, sir,” “no, sir” — but still fear that something terrible may happen when their child walks out the door, still fear that kids being stupid and not quite doing things right might end in tragedy — when all this takes place more than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid.”
The difference between the comments by Obama and Vincent is that the officer specified race. We’re glad Vincent broke through the “Blue Wall of silence,” also known as the code of silence among police officers, that has allowed aberrant behavior among some law enforcement officers.
Instead of punishing him, we hope the department uses Vincent to educate his fellow officers on a problem that is dividing the nation. It’s important to note that throughout this conversation, the voices of Black officers willing to speak on record have been few out of fear of repercussions. Vincent’s case illustrates that the fear was real.
What do you think, should Vincent be punished? Should he have used a different tactic? Sound off in comments.