Philadelphia former police commissioner resigned — Richard Ross Jr., the one who defended Starbucks for kicking out two Black men — but it appears the one they have no isn’t much better. Christine M. Coulter is being asked to step down after a problematic photo resurfaced.
In 1994, Coulter took a photo with a shirt that read, “L.A.P.D We Treat You Like a King,” which was a well known slogan that mocked the famously corrupt Los Angeles Police Department brutally beating Rodney King in 1991. Allegedly, an anonymous person sent the photo to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Coulter issues an apology but is clearly playing it coy by saying, “I should have known. I am profoundly sorry that anything I would’ve done could’ve caused such hurt.” Coulter also added she “never even thought of it as anything other than an LAPD shirt.”
There have been calls for her to resign. Councilwoman Cindy Bass said in a statement, “I do not believe that the Acting Commissioner Christine M. Coulter can effectively manage the external relationships necessary to address police and community tensions, which is absolutely required of any commissioner.”
However, Coulter isn’t going anywhere and she is even supported by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said she should not resign and that it was a 25-year-old “bad decision.” He also defended her by saying the shirt “was abhorrent, wearing it was a mistake, and she took responsibility.”
In March of 1991, King and two passengers were driving west on I-210 when he was ordered by California Highway Patrol officers to stop. After leading the officers on a high-speed chase, King stopped the vehicle and was the last to exit. As officers reportedly attempted to subdue King, they beat him, and the entire act was caught on videotape by a nearby resident.
Police initially claimed King was under the influence of drugs, but that was later refuted. The mostly White jury could not determine if the officers acted excessively, especially since a small clip of the video was allowable in court. On the seventh day of deliberation, the jury acquitted three of the four accused officers after not being able to determine the fate of the fourth. A riot ensued on April 29, 1992.
It is one of the most disgusting moments in American history where — once again — cops did not pay for an attack on Black people.