In the wake of the deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and many other black men, women and children, nationwide aspersions have been cast on America’s police force and on the detrimental effects of racial profiling. And yet in a recent case we can see that not even black men on the police force themselves are safe.
Harold Thomas, decorated officer of the New York City Police Department, was out celebrating a friend’s birthday off-duty at a night club. As he returned to his vehicle Thomas was approached by fellow officer Andrew Ali, who believed Thomas’s vehicle had been involved in a crime reported earlier that day.
Two more officers, James McKenna and Paul Montali arrived. Thomas presented his own badge and identification to them. Instead of leaving him be however, the other three officers turned violent. Thomas was beaten and arrested (the charges since dismissed).
He believes the beating was racially motivated. The charges may only have been thrown out due to his 30+ years on the force and spotless record and because the incident was caught on camera. If he had been a civilian or had any criminal history, however minor, he might not have gotten off so easily – if having his head bashed against a car counts as ‘easy’.