The more this story develops the more I shake my head in despair.
If you’re allergic to tl;dr the gist of it is that someone saw a black guy in a white neighborhood and freaked out. Turns out the black guy actually lived there, though, and provided identification to that effect… but was arrested anyway for, I don’t know, not being white enough.
The charges were dropped just as soon as someone with a working brain came within eyeshot of the situation, and the officer got a slap on the wrist and a stern talking-to. (Maybe.) That wasn’t enough to knock the douchebag out of him, though, and instead of an apology he decided to issue a non-apology instead.
Good ol’ Officer Whitebread is defending his actions with a smokescreen of “I was just looking out for my personal safety.” And you know, that’s usually a pretty good argument. Cops often have to make split-second life-or-death decisions even in routine traffic stops, so I can understand approaching the situation with caution. Most cops I’ve come across, though, don’t arrest everyone they can get their hands on for any reason or no reason at all. Once they’ve determined a situation isn’t dangerous, such as knocking on the door of an elderly unarmed man who provides legal identification, they let their guard down a bit and apply a little tact.
I almost always side with the police in situations like this, because of the aformentioned split-second decision thing. But this story looks terrible from any angle. I’ve read that the officer’s own report admits he was aware the man he arrested was the lawful homeowner before he cuffed him and hauled him in. Up to this point I think I could buy that maybe, just maybe, it was all a weird misunderstanding. If it were, and the officer were a gracious man, he would have no problem apologizing. The fact that he refuses to do so casts his motives into serious doubt. How am I supposed to read this situation, other than “white cop arrests black man because he is black, then refuses to apologize also because he is black”?
Someone take this guy’s badge away and sit him in a corner until he learns some manners.