Message from the President of Lodge 35 regarding the incident at the McDonalds in White Oak

The Montgomery County Police and the Fraternal Order of Police are consistently labeled as racist. Regarding a Montgomery County Officer’s use of the n-word, the organization has responded to blatant untruths and statements filled with negative insinuation by offering a public statement of fact on the record. The organization is intent on building positive police community relations in the face of opposition to the effort.

 Media outlets hungry for viewership and individuals with political agendas have targeted the recent incident involving a female Montgomery County Police Officer and males detained for suspected criminal activity. Two versions of the incident were recorded. One recording is by the cell phone of one of the males involved. The other footage is from the body worn camera of the officer. The latter version is complete and unedited. The media released the version captured on cell phone which does not present a full perspective and context of the incident. 

 As an African-American police officer and the President of the Fraternal Order of Police, it is disturbing to hear the use of the n-word by male subjects referring to African-American and White officers on the scene, and the female police oficer repeating the word during a lapse in good judgment and composure. After the female officers emotionally charged interchange with at least one of the males, she can be heard repeating the same term in response to a question. Though inexcusable, the use of the term appears to be absent any racial or discriminatory intent. This conclusion is easily reached when viewing the full unedited video, the one that is now available to the public. 

 An objective viewer is hard-pressed to give deference to the males in the video who liberally use the n-word and are offended when thier words are repeated back to them. African-Americans cannot expect to casually use such a derogatory word and not expect others to think they have the same liberality. There are excuses used to seemingly support the common use of the epithet such as it being a term of endearment or there is less of a negative connotation attached to something heard so often.  A better understanding of the profound historical impact that the word has had on African-Americans might curtail the popularity of its everyday use. One could argue that a race who uses the term so casually weakens its right to demand that no one else may use the term.

 The word is offensive and should be removed from all casual reference. There is common knowledge that the terms historical use has been for negative purposes. This sentiment is at the root of those who are choosing to disseminate the cell phone version of the aforementioned police incident. The real issue is eradicating the n-word from popular speech. That is not achieved by stoking hateful emotions through the dissemination of video that in its brevity is essentially a wrongful depiction of something that happened. Providentially, our laws afford both the males contacted by the police and the police officer due process.   



Torrie Cooke

President, FOP Lodge 35