When is it okay to refer to the people you are arresting as “zoo animals”-? The answer is never. Detroit police chief, James Craig agreed with the above answer and fired one of his newer cops for saying so via Snapchat while on duty, out in the field.
“If you feel that way, you’re not welcome here and we’re not going to have any tolerance for this kind of behavior,” Chief James Craig shared with Daily Dot on Monday.
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The 27-year-old, Caucasian officer, Sean Bostwick, was fired on Monday after posting to Snapchat a racist selfie the Saturday prior.
The snap was of Bostwick sitting in his patrol car, one eyebrow raised and in full uniform with the caption “another night to rangel up these zoo animals,” according to Detroit News.
Brandon Hunter, a journalist for the MI Chronicle, tweeted out a post with the attached snap below.
“Detroit Police officer Sean Bostwick posted this on his social media. He was suspended from the job Sunday. He needs to be fired. Your top cop is black, you patrol a predominantly black neighborhood, in a city that is almost 85% black. Can’t have this on our force.”
Bostwick’s post shocked Craig after he received multiple phone calls from other officers and community leaders notifying of what Bostwick said
Bostwick met Craig along with a union representative regarding the photo this past Monday, stating Bostwick “expressed some remorse” and “took responsibility,” though Bostwick said he “didn’t mean it the way it came off.”
Bostwick apparently meant he would “wrangle up” (not “rangel up”) the “zoo animals.” But with Detroit’s more than 80 percent Black population, likening them to zoo animals is a frequent analogy targeting minorities from people in power and it goes without saying, unacceptable.
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It was shared that Bostwick was with the police force for close to 18 months but spent 16 of those months at the police academy. Craig said Bostwick’s probationary status allowed him to make a “quick, decisive action” on the racist post, but if it would have been a tenured officer – it would have been handled differently.
Craig says he hopes Bostwick does not find his way back into law enforcement via another police department.
“I think any department that hires him will be concerned about this post,” Craig said. “I don’t think any city would want to take a chance or risk, but that’s between him and a potential employer.”
As of September 24th, it was shared that Bostwick was in fact, fired but not just due to the racist post. Bostwick was noted to have low test scores at the Academy and many had multiple concerns with Bostwick working out in the field.
Thanks to many, Bostwick’s suspension and termination was swift and just. Let us hope in the future, racism will be met with the same level of priority as it was with Bostwick.
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