While the tensions between Black people and police officers feels like they are at another peak, many have wondered how Black officers of the law feel. Outside of their uniforms, they can easily be mistreated by police just like the rest of us. But they can also perpetuate the same troublesome tactics once they’re on the clock.
Offering a rare glimpse into this unique perspective, a New York Police Officer was recently disciplined after responding to a tweet from the NYPD’s 76th Precinct with the hashtag “#BlackLivesMatter” from her personal Twitter account.
The New York Daily News reports that Officer Gwendolyn Bishop was subject to a departmental trial on Tuesday in connection to the tweet from February 2016.
“Sad day for the 76th Pct. #Blacklivesmatter,” she wrote on her now deleted Twitter account. The tweet she was responding to a tweet that read, “#76Pct Special Ops Team makes arrest and recovers a loaded 9MM hand gun #onelessgun” and included a photo of the weapon and a group of officers.
When asked about the tweet during trial, Bishop contested that she actually meant to say “#BlueLivesMatter,” the controversial hashtag that was created to show support of police officers in response to “#BlackLivesMatter.” She blamed her phone’s autocorrect for the mistake.
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“She can reply to a tweet just as the 500 million others who use Twitter can,” said her attorney, John Tynan.
If Bishop is found guilty of the violations she’s been accused of, she could lose vacation time as well as end up on probation for up to a year.
The case offers a glimpse into the kinds of tactics that police departments use to protect themselves from criticism and support an aged culture that is more than worthy of that same criticism.
Whether Bishop truly meant to share #BlackLivesMatter or if her tweet was another example of autocorrect gone wrong, an officer being disciplined for saying that Black Lives Matter should be considered a major embarrassment.