The San Jose Police Department this week joined its noxious neighbors to the north in capitalizing on media reports of police officers shot at across the US. While SFPD used the opportunity to double down on its we’re-the-good-guys-fear-us message, SJPD took a much more violent approach. The same police department that “fired” officer Phillip White after he threatened with violence anyone supporting Black Lives Matter, only to suddenly and silently rehire him a year later, wants us to know they have feelings, too. They did this by releasing a minute-long video of white-supremacist propaganda that wasted no time attacking Black Lives Matter while hiding behind a faux ploy for peace:
The video fades out with the message “The San Jose Police Officers’ Association believes” followed by the oft-recited slogans “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter,” which are controversial slogans as many activists in the country have been taking to the streets to decry that “Black Lives Matter” for the last couple years.
Both All Lives and Blue Lives were coined during the protests of Ferguson police’s killing of Michael Brown as a way to erase, gaslight and mock the Black Lives Matter movement. Blue Lives is an especially cruel slogan, as it seeks to wholly erase victims of police terror and portray their oppressors as the true victims. The inclusion of both All Lives and Blue Lives at the end of police-propaganda video is a textbook example of adding insult to injury. While police-union reps peddle a narrative of olive branches to the media, community members see their efforts as the cowardly tactics they are.
As if all this weren’t bad enough, the SJPD union held a related press conference to push for “federal legislation that would designate the targeting and killing of a police officer as a hate crime.” This is one of the endgames for the endless waves of pity-the-poor-police narratives constantly parroted by the media. The word “targeting” is the danger here, as its definition would be expanded to include filming on-duty police in public and sharing that video and/or images online. Any orgs whose work includes exposing and checking police terror would find themselves constantly beset by hate-crime charges. And these new hate-crime powers would be on top of the near-limitless and ever-growing immunities and rights they already enjoy. Even if it never reaches federal legislation, though it easily could under either party, it’s remains a PR tool for police unions to further reinforce their narrative that protestors are dangerous criminals only seeking to harm brave police whose only desire is to protect and serve.
This is why it’s so important when it comes to police propaganda on any level, when you see something, say something, before it snowballs into something too large to stop.