Things That Matter

Woman Who Falsely Identified Herself As A Police Officer Tried To Intimidate Latinas Playing At Park

With one viral video, Public Park Penelope has been born, mi gente. 

A viral video posted to Twitter earlier this week shows a white woman berating and harassing a group of young Latinas who were playing in a public park in Texas. In the video the woman can be seen verbally harassing and cursing at a group of young girls who had simply been enjoying themselves at a public park earlier this week.

During her tirade, the woman falsely identified herself as a Fort Worth police officer, which has since launched a police investigation and conversations about the use of police as a threat against people of color.

The woman was filmed forcing the group of girls out of the park during a one-minute recorded video.

In the video, the woman can be seen confronting a group of girls who were playing on a large swing in the park and yelling at them to leave.

 “Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop It’s a children’s park. Stop now,” the unidentified woman yells before grabbing hold of the swing set the girls were on. The girl who had been on the swing calmly replied that they “are children,” and another off-screen replied “hell no,” to the woman’s aggressive behavior. 

Soon enough, the woman launched into a stream of expletives. “No you’re not,” the woman yelled. “Okay well I’m a f******* PD, so get the F**** out of here now if you’re not here to play as a child.”

After the girl who had been on the swing replied that she was fifteen-years-old, the unidentified woman launched into another rant. “You’re not a f–king child. Thirteen or younger,” the woman yells in the video. “You provoked yourself as a child, and you’re not. I can literally arrest you as a f–king adult. Which is your choice? Are you a child or a goddamn adult? Go. Get out of here.”

According to Remezcla, an article published by the local newspaper Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Dream Park is “an inclusive park that accommodates children of all ages.”

On Wednesday, the Forth Worth Police tweeted that the woman in the video is not a police officer in their department which contradicted her claims.

“We have received numerous mentions & messages regarding a woman in a park claiming to be “PD” & using vulgar & inappropriate language toward youth & children. She does NOT appear to be a #FortWorth police officer,” the department said.

On Thursday, the Forth Worth Police released another statement that they had confirmed that the woman is not an officer in their department and that she is instead a local resident.

According to the Forth Worth Police, the incident has sparked an investigation in their department for “several potential criminal charges, including impersonating a public servant and disorderly conduct.”

In either case, what is truly disturbing about this video is the way in which a grown adult manically and verbally attacked a group of young girls for simply having fun in public space where such type of play is encouraged. 

Public Park Penelope might not have called the police but her actions are extremely similar to the trend of videos that went viral last year of white people using the police to scare off people of color. 

While the unidentified woman at the park did not call the police, she did use the enforcement and threat of the police to achieve a goal of getting the girls away from the park. Her actions are not unlike the many episodes and events similar to these that people encounter while being Black or Brown in the United States. 

Throughout the spring and summer of 2018, POC captured national attention when they began holding white people accountable for using the very real threat of police against them in situations that were blown out of proportion. The videos put a blast on the racial targeting of POC by white people who had called the police in moments they claimed to have felt “scared” “uncomfortable” or “threatened” by the presence of Black or brown people. From the trend, Permit Patty, ID Adam, BBQ Betty And Pool Patrol Paula were born. The incidents highlighted the various mundane things that can spark a police confrontation when Black people are out and about in their community.  While the occurrence of such videos have slowed down, it appears the use of police as a threat against POC remains alive and well.

The General Manager Of A Pro Softball Team Used Players To Promote Trump’s Anti-Black Lives Matter Message So The Entire Team Walked

Entertainment

The General Manager Of A Pro Softball Team Used Players To Promote Trump’s Anti-Black Lives Matter Message So The Entire Team Walked

bl26softball / Instagram

This week, the pro women’s softball league held its first game in Melbourne, Florida. Soon after the game finished, every member of the Texas-based team called the Scrap Yard Fast Pitch, quit. The reason? The team’s general manager Connie May tweeted a picture of the players standing during the national anthem and tagged Donald Trump.

The women players decided that they’d had it.

In a post shared with Donald Trump on Twitter, May indicated that the members of his softball team are opposed to the Black Lives Matter movement.

According to the New York Times, the team received numerous texts and notifications of the post once they’d finished their game and returned to their locker room. The image was posted without their knowledge or consent and clearly used by May to promote a political message. The woman say that their standing for the flag has nothing to do with their political views.

Speaking about the incident, The Undefeated reports that “When May was brought into the locker room following the game, players expected an explanation.” May instead attempted to justify her post and at some point said “All Lives Matter.” Having heard enough one of the team’s members Kiki Stokes walked out. Soon after the rest of the team (which has only two Black members) followed. Kelsey Stewart, one of the Black players, was not at the game as wrote her teammates with a screenshot of the tweet saying “I am not going to ever be a part of this organization whatsoever.”

Fortunately, the softball team backed Stewart and Stokes.

“Moments later, her teammates took off their jerseys and followed her,” The Undefeated reports. “Every player in the locker room was done after that moment. They would no longer play for May or the Scrap Yard organization.”

Speaking to the New York Times, Cat Osterman a member the team said “The more we talked about it, the angrier I got, and I finally just said, ‘I’m done, I’m not going to wear this jersey. We were used as pawns in a political post, and that’s not OK.”

In a show of solidarity, USSSA Pride (who played against Scrap Yard Dawgs in Monday’s game) suspended the rest of their planned games.

The two teams were on each other’s schedules which means USSSA is likely refusing to win by default.

No doubt it’s pretty powerful these women decided to quit their jobs to stand with Black Lives Matter and their Black teammates. Speaking about the incident Natasha Watley, the first Black player to play with USA Softball at the Olympics called the move “powerful.” “Not one of them stood back and said this doesn’t really affect me, I’d rather play,” she said adding “We’re already getting paid pennies and now we’re going to get paid nothing to stand up for this. That’s how much it matters.”

Actress On ‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’ Calls Out The Fashion Industry For Using BLM As A Trend On Social Media

Fierce

Actress On ‘A Black Lady Sketch Show’ Calls Out The Fashion Industry For Using BLM As A Trend On Social Media

Graham Denholm / Getty

Fashion consumers are calling out designer brands for their recent displays of Black imagery on their social media pages in light of the Black Lives Matter protests. Of course, representation is appreciated, but a recent post about “Shrill” actress Niccole Thurman is pointing out that such displays should not be treated as Fashion trends.

In a series of tweets shared with her Instagram page, Thurman held the fashion industry accountable.

Calling out the fashion industry for their past exclusion of Black people and people of color, Thurman tweeted a string of emojis, featuring white faces. Sparsely sprinkled into the white faces were a few images of Black emojis and other emojis representing people of color. Thurman captioned the image writing “every Fashion Instagram page looking like.”

Speaking about the fashion industry’s current display of Black models in their social feeds in relation to the global protests that have broken out across the country in response to the recent death of George Floyd. “Feel like this tweet will get me yelled at somehow, so let me just say I’m GLAD to see more beautiful black women in my feed,” Thurman followed up her tweet writing. “It’s just THEY’VE BEEN THERE. THEY’VE *BEEN* BEAUTIFUL. Why’re brands just now seeing them? Don’t think we’re not going to check in on you a month from now.”

Users on Twitter and Instagram were quick to applaud Thurman’s point.

Many people who saw Thurman’s emoji illustration agreed with its sentiment. “Yeees!! And every goddamn photographer (nature photographer aside) I follow probably frantically searched their picture archive for that one shot of a black model they have to post last week, like “Look! I’m good! I take pictures of black people once in a while!!” a user by the name of @LoveCrimeCat wrote in response to the tweet while another remarked that ‘It’s only a matter of time until they go back to regular programming. I hope not but for some of these brands, it’s all performance.’ 

Another user took the time to lambast the fashion industry for “It’s the truth. Half the time the clothes are cut to fit white model better. The only one who really had more models of color on their runways shows was people like Thierry Mugler before he became Manfred.”

In regards to this story, Mitú has reached out to Thurman and is waiting for a comment.