It’s so not OK that former Vice President Joe Biden, who last I checked was a white man, proclaimed in 2016 that the inevitability of a white minority in the U.S. for the first time was somehow “a source of our strength.”
It’s so not OK to be white in America in 2017 that a suburban Chicago police officer justified his detention of several teens in a car on the grounds that they were white.
According to NBC Chicago, the officer, Esteban Gomez, behaved throughout his interrogation of the teens in a manner that could be described only as “inappropriate and unprofessional.” At one point in the video found here, Gomez can be heard rhetorically asking the driver, “What are you, a tough guy?”
The recording was made by one of the teens, Dezi Baczek, who says she “was yelled at to sit down. I said, ‘What’s the reason?’ And he said sit down or I could turn around and be arrested, so I sat down at that point.”
Police said the detective was conducting a theft investigation at the time and was questioning someone in the group. While the remaining members of the group sat on the curb, one teen can be heard in the video recording asking why he’s being detained.
“Because I’m a teen? Because I have baggy pants?” the person says in the footage.
That’s when the officer responds with “Because you’re white,” and walks away.
Lake Villa Police Chief Craig Somerville released a statement that read in part:
Det. Gomez admitted his words were poorly chosen and insensitive and he immediately regretted what he had said. The Lake Villa Police Department does not condone this type of behavior of its officers.
For his part, Gomez was disciplined “for behavior unbecoming an officer” and will be speaking with the parents and teens involved.