Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life—but no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list, too. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we’re pleased to present our semi-regular racism surveillance machine. Stay woke, and keep your head on a swivel out there.
A Miami-Dade police officer is under investigation for, well, let’s call it an interesting choice of words during a recent traffic stop.
As reported by NBC Miami, an unnamed cop, who happens to be White, pulled over 29-year-old motorist Gerardson Nicolas, a Black man, earlier this month. It was a run-of-the-mill stop. That is, until the patrolman opened his mouth and a chilling warning came tumbling out:
“Give me your driver’s license, registration, and insurance. If not, you will not be going to work today. Simple thing, man. This is how you guys get killed out here, man.”
It’s the type of interaction that *some* people would only believe if they saw it, which is exactly why Nicolas captured footage of the exchange and posted it to his TikTok account (it’s been viewed nearly 90,000 times). As a result, the officer is now on desk duty while Miami-Dade Police conducts an internal affairs investigation that includes reviewing 30 hours of body cam footage.
Steadman Stahl, who serves as president of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association, says the aforementioned officer’s disturbing choice of words was merely referencing seatbelt usage—as if “Click it or ticket,” “Buckle up for safety,” or “Click Clack, front and back” weren’t all right there. (“Stay strapped” might not have hit the way he intended.)
“The only reference to race appears to be coming from the way this incident is being portrayed, not from the officer," said Stahl.
Okay, Steadman. As if “you guys” isn’t first cousins to “you people” and we haven’t heard of countless men and women killed by police for simply driving while Black. It’s bad enough that these traffic stops are at best unnecessary and at worst dangerous and discriminatory. Just write your ticket and fuck off already.