PHILADELPHIA — It seems like every day that we hear stories of police getting away with all manner of corruption and misconduct — even murder.
We are familiar, for example, with the officers who were not indicted, even though they were seen on video choking and suffocating Eric Garner to death.
But a cop in Philadelphia has proven to be an exception.
Officer Thomas Strain was pulled off the streets and forced to work behind a desk.
Because of his hairstyle: he had his hair in cornrows.
The incident became controversial a few years ago when it was discovered that several black officers across the city were also styling their hair in cornrows.
For some reason, Officer Strain was the only one disciplined.
“They pulled him out of roll call and took him right up to the inspector’s office,” said an officer who remained anonymous.
Making things even more controversial, many suspect that Officer Strain was punished for his cornrows just because he was white.
“It’s absolutely discriminatory,” said one officer. Strain’s cornrows ‘do “was neat. It was above his collar. It’s not like he shaved a Nazi sign or something anti-black or anti-Hispanic on his head. It’s just cornrows. I don’t know what the problem is.”
Whatever the case, it is noteworthy that this cop was pulled from the streets for a hair cut, while other cops are given a free pass after murdering citizens. Some officers still keep their jobs even after egregious cases of rape charges.
Just recently, a community was shocked to learn that more than half a dozen cops were still on the force, even though those cops had been charged with the rape of children and possession of child porn.
A moment’s reflection tells one that there is a serious problem with the values in police departments.
What we’re seeing here is a pattern. Cops are essentially rewarded with continued employment and pensions if they act violently, while cops who act like normal down-to-earth humans are threatened, punished, or possibly terminated.
Another example of the latter is a cop who was immediately fired for having fun with a citizen — in this case the two were comparing their motorcycles and going for a brief race down a safe stretch of highway.
Punished or threatened for activity like haircuts and motorcycle races; rewarded with paid leave for killing and beating. What has gone wrong here?
What do you think about the fact that Officer Strain was given desk duty even though other officers were allowed to have the same hairstyle? Do you think it was because he was white, or is it an instance of the misguided values in police departments?
Watch the video below to see how cops are still on the force even though they were charged with child rape and possession of child porn, while cops who act like normal humans are disciplined and threatened.