Discussion: Yale Clears Officer Accused Of Stopping Black NYT Columnist's Son

Discussion for article #233967

Hey, if it was my kid I’d be pissed too. Not even an apology for pulling out a gun on someone who was doing nothing remotely illegal, except for walking while black? And no, it doesn’t mean a thing that the officer in question was black: black officers are just as capable of promoting a racist cop attitude as their fellow officers of other races.


Blow made this sound like a racist. civil rights violating incident. Well, maybe not. He and Kristoff should stop writing columns about people they know, thus raising a conflict of interest. They always get those columns wrong.

HT, are you suggesting that the fact that a black officer pulled a gun on someone ¨who looked like¨ a suspect precludes this incident from being racial?


YES! Imagine if Herman Cain, Alan Keyes, Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, or Allen West were police officers. Yes, they’re black, but does anyone think that cabal of self-hating assholes would be any less likely than a racist white officer to unload on a black kid? #BlackLivesMatter wasn’t just aimed at telling white people that our lives matter, it was also about reminding black people that our lives matter. When you’ve been told by your country, by your community, by your government that your life, that black lives don’t really matter even some black people start to believe it.


Blow has been covering police shootings and abuse of minorities for years. He explained that he stopped listing the race of the officer years ago because he realized it was wholly irrelevant, that it’s the mindset of the police and how they interact with people of color are the defining factors and not the race of the victim of police brutality.


I think even less than evil assholes sometimes get subsumed in the us vs. them world of cop culture; you don’t have to be an Allen West type to buy into looking at minorities - especially young males minorities - as the enemy.

This is less about racism and more about out of control police using WAY too much force than called for.

Like Eric Garner choke hold in NY.
Like 12 year old carrying toy gun killed by Cleveland police.

Like less than instant compliance with a police demand resulting in deadly force being threatened to a college kid.


I was held at gunpoint by two police officers for about 15 minutes because I matched the description of an armed felon. Once it was cleared up we exchanged pleasantries and they left. I did not expect an investigation but I appreciated the apology. But I also appreciated that police work is dangerous and made more so by our insane gun laws. Maybe all of us could get more civilized treatment from the police if they didn’t have to worry so much about self-preservation. So while it is exponentially worse for young men of color, all of us have a stake in this.


Yes; I believe there are studies that show that black officers have the same racial bias toward potential suspects that white officers have. I hasten to add that “bias” does not necessarily equal “racism”; it only means that there is a deep-level programming of the brain that causes immediate reactions to be different regarding white and black potential suspects and requires some higher level of filtering to compensate. And this is why proper training is so critical regarding white vs black suspects.


“Boys in the Hood” came out in 1991. There are two scenes in the movie where a black officer is shown behaving in a way that is exactly as you describe.

Drawing a gun to stop a serial iPad thief on a college campus is out of line. Does anyone really think if the suspect was described as white, that the campus would pull a gun on every white student until they found the master criminal?

We need to stop, and reasses the latitude we give police officers to threaten and use violence.


I decided not to attend Yale because… New Haven. And that was 45 years ago. Not a happy place.

Had a business back about 25 years ago making deliveries to Yale NH Hospital. Like you say, not a happy place but pulling a gun out is ridiculous. Dangerous for all.

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The problem is clearly two-fold. First, if the officer actually didn’t violate any department rules, then the department rules suck. Second, if the officer thought, regardless of the rules, that his behavior was okay then he’s a pretty poor example of a human being, let alone a public safety officer. And no apology? I guess that makes three serious problems that Yale seems quite willing to sweep under the rug.