The viral clip features an unnamed police officer warning a group of armed white men protecting a store to shelter inside to avoid being arrested for violating a curfew.
A video filmed in Salem, Oregon, recently went viral on social media as it appeared to put in clear display the blatant disparity between how cops treat white people and black people. The viral clip featured an unnamed police officer warning a group of armed white men—alleged to be Proud Boys—protecting a store to shelter inside to avoid being arrested for violating a curfew. In an extremely polite tone, the cop requests the group to take shelter so officers "don't look like [they're] playing favorites."
"We're going to really enforce the citywide curfew shut down so we can arrest anybody walking around," the unidentified officer tells the men. "My command wanted me to come talk to you guys and request that you guys secrete people inside the businesses or in your vehicles somewhere where it's not a violation... so we don't look like we're playing favorites. That would be unhealthy." The way he emphasizes the word "look" leaves little doubt about their allegiances. He might as well have said, "so they don't get more proof of us playing favorites when it comes to our dear old white pals."
POLICE OFFICER TELLS PROUD BOYS TO HIDE INSIDE BUILDING BECAUSE THEY'RE ABOUT TO TEAR GAS PROTESTERS. THE OFFICER SAID HE WAS WARNING THEM "DISCRETELY" BECAUSE HE DIDNT WANT PROTESTERS TO SEE POLICE "PLAY FAVORITES."#BLUEFALL #PoliceBrutalityPandemic #PoliceBrutality pic.twitter.com/ri83By2EVy— SatelliteHeart (@Satellit3Heart) June 5, 2020
According to Buzzfeed News, a clip of the conversation was uploaded to TikTok by a 20-year-old Dani Green who clarified that she did not film the video but saw it posted on Facebook. Green explained that she decided to share it on other social media platforms so that it would reach younger internet users. "I didn't think what they were doing was right, and I wanted more people my age to see that, both locally and nationally," she said. A two and a half-minute-long Facebook video of the encounter was uploaded last week by a user named Jared Richert who said the incident took place on June 1.
The longer clip shows the same officer telling white men he and his fellow officers had "really appreciated the attitude you guys have all had." The cop also warns them that there would soon be a heavy presence of police in the area. Meanwhile, one of the armed men in the group is heard telling the others: "If they let us be out here then people will say, 'We can be out here.'" The video is said to have been filmed outside Glamour Salon—a local business that made headlines when its owner, Lindsey Graham, reopened the salon despite coronavirus lockdown orders.
The 39-year-old revealed that the men were there on her request after she posted a plea on social media for help protecting her store. Graham, who rejected the term "armed militia," claimed she'd heard the salon would be targeted by vandals in retaliation for her violating the lockdown. "I didn't call for an army to come outside my salon," she said. "I called for men to come protect my salon from rioters and looters. I'm seeing [online] that I called white supremacists to come defend my salon. I'm being called a racist and a white supremacist myself. I'm absolutely not a racist or a white supremacist. I would never willingly associate with people who are. It was not my intention to involve myself in any kind of racist activity."
“Lawfully armed individuals violating a curfew does differ in severity from people throwing bricks and bottles.”— Richard Parkin (@unreceived) June 5, 2020
Yeah, so if the protesters had guns, Salem police would just have quiet word? Srsly?
Salem Police Chief Jerry Moore issued an apology in response to the video last week, explaining that his department had received multiple emails and calls about it. "The message we have received is a concern that we are treating people differently. For that I tell you, I am sorry," he said in a video message. "Sorry that there is even a thought that this department would treat some different than others." Moore declined to name the officer and merely said the individual had been spoken to. "The impact the interactions captured on the video had on our community has been discussed with the officer," he said. "Unfortunately, he had not been fully briefed about enforcement of the curfew before he spoke with the group. Moving forward, all officers tasked with enforcement of the curfew will be properly educated before deployment."