Brookings policeman and school resource officer Joe Fishbaugher was placed on administrative leave last week for posting the following comments on his Facebook wall:
Fishbaugher did some talking on his personal Facebook page the night the police officers were killed in Dallas.
“I have never in my career wanted to strap on my gear and go hunting more than I do at this moment as I listen to the police scanner in Dallas, Texas,” he wrote.
Another officer from the Brandon Police Department, Lee Henning replied,
[Fishbaugher] went on to say, ” Looking like its time for every traffic stop to be a felony stop now and no less than two officers in every car” [Angela Kennecke, “Brookings Police Officer Under Investigation for Facebook Comments,” KELO-TV, 2016.07.12].
Someone with a Brookings County Sheriff’s Department vehicle parked in front of his or her house has posted the following message on his/her house wall:
The palette was out this Sunday morning, around the time that news came out about the shooting of police officers (three dead, three wounded) in Baton Rouge.
If police officers constituted an aggrieved class disempowered by systematic, institutional bias, appropriating the Black Lives Matter slogan to express one’s concerns about police safety might be a valid act of protest. However, despite the sensational events of the last couple weeks, police are still safer in the United States today than they were during the last three decades. They also have lots of power, funding, and public support. There is little if any sign that police lives are not valued in America’s power structure.
“Black Lives Matter” is a political statement that black lives are not valued in America’s power structure. To appropriate their slogan to protest the killing of police officers by thugs on the street (yup, I said thugs, and I mean it) is not just as pointless as putting up a sign reading “Property Rights Matter” to protest sporadic thefts around the country. It is a direct rebuke to those fighting to rectify genuine imbalances in America’s power structure.
And if that sign and that sheriff’s vehicle belong to the same person, that rebuke is coming from a member of the agents of the state whose actions are at the core of the Black Lives Matter critique. Rather than signaling a willingness to engage in a discussion about racial bias on policing, that member of the police would essentially be saying to any people of color in Brookings, buzz off.