RACE / RACISM
Officers Could Sue Protesters; The Black Woman Behind the Viral ‘WAP’ Sign Language
Catch up on the latest race and racism news you may have missed.
Last week’s racial news roundup took a hiatus as I took some time to immerse myself in nature and visit faraway family. I hope it gave you readers a respite, too — we all need one, because you can’t stay woke if life’s worn you the hell out, right? This week, there’s news about police power, efforts to make schools pay for offending White feelings with historical truths, connecting with the ancestors through foraging, and the sign language interpreters who make the raucous sexiness of “WAP” accessible (read to the end to find a link to more signed rap and hip hop songs).
Will police accused of misconduct be allowed to sue protesters against police brutality?
The same New York county which recently passed a bill allowing law enforcement officers to sue protesters they believe have harassed them also hired 17 former NYPD officers credibly accused of and/or sued for misconduct. Nassau County’s legislature passed a law Aug. 2 (currently awaiting the executive’s signature) that would fine protesters up to $50,000 if they are judged to have harassed, injured, menaced or assaulted a first responder, and would allow the first responder to collect punitive and compensatory damages from the protester in a lawsuit. But among those police officers who would be covered by this law are some problematic hires made over the last five years. One officer, Matthew Castellano, resigned from the NYPD after being sued by a pregnant Black social worker whom he assaulted in 2015. The Nassau County Police department not only hired Castellano — they also gave him a raise. A department spokesman told the Long Island Press newspaper that Castellano was no longer with the department as of this past March. He didn’t say anything about the status of the other 16 former NYPD officers chosen to serve the county, and one wonders what any of them might do when confronted with an allegedly hostile protester at a demonstration against, say, police violence. In the meantime, there are dozens of similar anti-protester bills on the agendas of local governments…