The Omaha Police Officers Association is facing criticism and backlash over the recent posting of a video that contains footage of a black toddler using profanity. The officers evidently used this video as an example of what they refer to as, “the thug cycle.” The footage appears to have been shot using a cell phone, and it appears that the officers came into possession of the footage after it was posted on Facebook by the toddlers Uncle.
The video contains two relatives of the toddler who are cursing at each other as well as toddler in an attempt to teach him to curse back at them. Once the video was posted on the Omaha Police Officers Association website, a statement was posted to accompany the video that stated that the Association had an, “obligation,” to share the video to illustrate the, “cycle of violence and thuggery that some young innocent children find themselves helplessly trapped in.” Statements on the website go on to infer that the video is an example of the cycle of violence in their community is perpetuated and that stopping this cycle requires help from the entire community, not just from police officers.
An article posted by the Dailymail says that Omaha residents are angry about the footage being posted due to the fact that while the cursing toddler may be offensive and reflect poor parenting that there is not anything illegal actually taking place in the video. There is also a comment on the Associations website by a member of the law enforcement union that states that the user is ashamed that the video was posted due to the racist fashion in which the footage was used.
Members of the Omaha Police Officers Association believe that they had the leeway to make such a post due to the fact that they consider themselves separate from the police department. Regardless of their exact affiliation, the fact that the Association represents law enforcement officers means that they should not be allowed to make such racist inferences about a minor child who is simply mimicking behavior. A child could learn similar distasteful behavior by being exposed to certain television shows and other forms of media. Also, I am sure that there are children of all races who learn curse words by mimicking behavior that they have seen. For these law enforcement officers to make the racist assumption that this child will grow up to be a thug is completely inappropriate on their behalf, and this community should be outraged that they are being allowed to get away with making such racist and derogatory assumptions about a minor child simply because he is black.
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