Reacting to Jones’s piece about white supremacists in law enforcement, New Orleans Times-Picayune columnist Jarvis DeBerry last year reminded readers of Michael Elsbury, a white Baton Rogue police officer who resigned after “he was linked” to racist text messages.
“I wish someone would pull a Ferguson on them and take them out,” Elsbury reportedly wrote in one message, referring to the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown. “I hate looking at those African monkeys at work … I enjoy arresting those thugs with their saggy pants.”
DeBerry worried that officers like Elsbury are not unusual. “Would a police officer with such white supremacist views even stick out?” he wrote. “Or are anti-black hatred and standard American policing so similar to one another that we wouldn’t notice anything remarkable about a black-hating cop on patrol?”
Those are distressing, inflammatory and probably unfair questions to ask, but they are questions that are increasingly being asked by Americans of all colors.