200 Words About the Ain’t-Shit Cops Who Were Called on the Black Men at Starbucks

Illustration for article titled 200 Words About the Ain’t-Shit Cops Who Were Called on the Black Men at Starbucks
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“This is some bullshit” are the four words you’d hope a crowd of police officers—people with actual crime to fight or maybe just actual boxes of doughnuts to eat—would say when called to question and arrest two men whose only apparent crimes occurred when the Starbucks manager decided they were criminals. She literally spoke their crimes into existence, like they were conjured on a Pinterest vision board.


I have never been a police officer, but I’ve known enough cops (including several in my family) and seen enough episodes of Law & Order and NYPD and The Wire to know that the only thing they seem to hate more than citizen review boards and overtime restrictions is paperwork. And when you make arrests, you’re required to do paperwork.

At the very least, you’d assume that they’d see this sham “crime,” chuck the deuces and then go about their day doing actual police things. But the compulsion to arrest, detain and criminalize blackness was stronger than their want to not do unnecessary paperwork, which is a thing everyone hates.


They want to jail niggers more than they want to avoid paperwork. And that’s a scary fucking thought.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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“On the one hand, I could save myself some trouble if I just de-escalate the situation and maybe tell this lady to chill out, and these guys will probably want to take their business elsewhere anyway, and I can move on. No crime has been committed and if this goes sideways I might end up on the local news, and that’s really going to put a cramp in my ability to watch the NHL playoffs tonight when the district attorney calls my ass to question me and figure out what happened.

On the other, fuck these niggers.”

The police, basically.