A Boston police officer will be suspended without pay for six months because he made a racially charged video that included the tagline “This summer, black people have met their match.” Officer Joseph DeAngelo Jr. has been a part of the force for four years and will also be on probation for six months after he returns.
The Boston Globe reports that Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans struggled with coming up with an appropriate punishment for DeAngelo, as his video went against all of the work the department has done to regain the trust of the community.
“It’s a disservice when some of our officers behave like this,” Evans said. “We’ve built a lot of trust, and respect in the community, and we want that to continue”
“He caused some harm not only to his reputation, but the department’s reputation,” he continued.
The video that caused all of this controversy was filmed to resemble a movie trailer. It featured another officer, Dennis Leahy, who was unaware he was being filmed, and a dog. Captions came across the screen and labeled “the unlikely pair” as an “inept cop” and “a dog with a limp.” The caption that “black people have met their match” then appears on the screen, insinuating that the Boston police are specifically targeting Black people.
As expected, DeAngelo has come out with a letter of apology that includes all of the staple backpedaling statements, including claims that he had a moment of mental lapse, that he’s always left his casual racism at home whenever he was on the job and that he was taught better by his parents. But it’s not like we haven’t forgotten or ignored anything we were taught, right?
“I regret the embarrassment this has caused for the Police Department and regret that my actions may very well make our jobs as police officers more difficult,” he wrote. “We all make mistakes in life, and some are bigger than others. I made a big one and ask for your forgiveness.”
— Jan Ransom (@Jan_Ransom) June 29, 2017
The video was originally sent to three police officers, a civilian employee, and at least six friends in a text message from DeAngelo. Looks like he needs to find out which of his friends/coworkers isn’t as cool with racism as he is.