I’d read in passing curiosity that Empire star, Taraji P. Henson had decided to take her son out of USC, one of the top, most coveted universities in the country, and transfer him to Howard University–also a great school and as HBCUs go it’s the cream of the crop. The reason? Outrage over the belief that her son had been racially profiled during a routine traffic stop where he ran a yellow light and was caught smoking weed in his car. Going to to mama lion mode, she took the entire word of her son over the LAPD until unequivocal evidence (that handy police recording) that the policeman was polite and well within his duties to cite him. Caught in the lie, son came clean and Taraji is now forced to eat crow with egg on her face. As an aside, I’m trying to figure out why Taraji thought sending her child to another university would somehow protect him from getting cited for smoking weed while running a yellow light….
Similar story with the whole Daniele Watts controversy when she cried wolf and claimed that her and her partner had been singled out because they were an interracial couple. After audio evidence and witness reports flooded in, the narrative completely changed, and public opinion quickly changed, and not in her favor. Her appearance in Django Unchained may be the highlight of her lifetime, but it looks like nobody is having her.
These two high-profile foibles should make you more that tsk, it should make you pissed. Policemen who are JUST DOING THEIR JOBS are being wrongfully accused in these cases, and people who did dumb shit and want to point the finger at an organization facing a lot of heat reminds me of how cowardly people throughout history use opportunities to scapegoat innocent people in order for them to save face. What’s more, situations like this make it harder for people who have real claims with both the public and police become skeptical of their claims.
Claiming police brutality is too serious an accusation to not take seriously, and when people use that knowledge to misdirect attention away from their wrongdoing, it’s tantamount to yelling fire in a movie theater.
Just stop. Name and shame these folks so reports of REAL brutality can continue to be taken seriously.