A brave and wise female police captain in Indiana has just been put on leave for reminding a fellow white male captain that he benefits from white male privilege. And not only that, it all started when that same male police officer doubted trans people were experiencing police violence.
In early November, experts from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. attorney's office were briefing officers of the Indiana Plainfield Police Department on how to correctly and compassionately interact with transgender folks. The experts explained that trans individuals are 3.3 times more likely than non-trans people to be the victim of police violence.
Bu that's when this male officer, Captain Scott Arndt, decided he'd had enough. He protested: "My wife has never been part of police violence. Most of the people that I know have never been, accused the police of violence. So I guess I don't get where that statistic comes from."
Well, that's great for him. But no one was asking about his wife or friends, and he shouldn't be speaking for them anyway. Just because he doesn't think he knows anyone who's been the target of police violence doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And Captain Weber communicated exactly that to him, explaining that he wasn't aware of this violence because his white male privilege shields him.
Instead of apologizing or empathetically trying to put himself in someone else's shoes, this officer took the exact opposite tactic. He began screaming at Weber, yelling that he was offended and she couldn't be serious. He even filed an official complaint against Weber, claiming she "racially and sexistly slurred" him and that she "holds and espouses...discriminatory views."
This is completely absurd. As a paid public servant — a protector of our communities — he has an obligation to see past himself and to learn how others in our communities experience life. But it seems he absolutely refuses to do so, and is instead attacking and undermining those people who are trying to educate him.
Is this who the Indiana police want to be? Deniers and marginalizers? If not, it's time to bring back Captain Weber and laud her for her courageous honesty!
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