by Chief Roger Harris
Hi, I’m Chief of Police Roger Harris. I want to begin by thanking those protesters who have stayed peaceful over the past few days. We feel your anger and frustration. Abuse of power is wrong, especially when it’s committed by the people you entrust with your safety and protection.
No one hates a bad cop more than a good cop.
We don’t expect anyone to sit back and allow injustice to happen. But for some, the badge is just a reminder of racially charged discrimination and profiling, which they perceive as being widespread and systemic. This is the price of the uniform. We bare the burden of mistakes made by those who wear it alongside us.
I want to be clear: I am not attempting to distance my department from the bad apples in Minneapolis. We all have the duty to listen and to implement necessary changes in how we approach our citizens, without regard to skin color.
I just don’t want anyone to forget about all the cute videos of us pulling people over and giving them ice cream.
You’ve seen them, right? Those videos that pop up on Facebook and Reddit from time to time as a reminder that, hey, we’re not all so bad! We care about our community, and sometimes the best way to show that is by handing out 99 cent cones to random motorists. No, it’s not a PR stunt to earn back public trust after years and years of turmoil and the resulting erosion of our reputation. We just care that much.
And isn’t it funny how terrified they look when we pull them over, only to be relieved when we whip out a vanilla swirl? Now THAT’S comedy! Or what about when we go out and find little black boys to shoot hoops with? See, cops can be pretty cool when you don’t challenge our authority!
And has no one seen the pictures we took with protesters to show our support of their right to speak up? A few did look at us the wrong way, giving us no choice but to disperse them with tear gas. But our intentions were good!
What we need right now is to come together. This is an opportunity for healing, and I would hate for a few bad apples who flew under the radar for years without anyone saying anything until public exposure of their deeply personal and anomalous biases in unfortunate displays of aggression to undermine that.
Just go home, watch the videos, and let’s put all of this behind us, yeah? We’ll give you ice cream.