Kumail Nanjiani Rejects Idea Of Few ‘Bad Apple’ Cops In Buffalo In Searing Tweet
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani has slammed the claim that police brutality is down to just one or two ‘bad apples’.
Nanjiani, star of the new Netflix comedy The Lovebirds, shared his thoughts on Twitter in response to footage taken at a Black Lives Matter protest in Buffalo, New York.
In videos shared online, a 75-year-old protester could be seen approaching police, who then forcefully pushed him to the ground, causing him to hit his head on the concrete. The protester began bleeding from the ear, and he was later hospitalised in serious condition.
See the footage here – warning: distressing content:
Police initially claimed the man ‘tripped’, but as more footage began to emerge it became clear he had been pushed. The two officers responsible have since been suspended without pay.
Nanjiani addressed the disturbing incident and used it as an example of how racism is systemic, rather than being solely down to individual people.
He pointed out the two officers held responsible for pushing the man likely wouldn’t have been punished if it weren’t for the footage, because the numerous other officers at the scene failed to go to the man’s aid or prevent him from harm in the first place.
Buffalo PD officially said that the man tripped & fell. If we didn’t have video there would have been no accountability. Why? Because one “bad apple” pushed him down but 20 “good apples” would have let him get away with it. It’s systemic.
Though the man pushed down in Buffalo was white, police were violent towards him because he was a Black Lives Matter supporter; one of the people they were there to try and disperse.
The officers responsible didn’t even appear to think about their actions, because in pushing the man they knew they could silence his protest. To those officers, that move seemed natural, which in turn highlights the inherent racism issues built into the entire institution.
Nanjiani’s argument is also applicable to the death of George Floyd, who lost his life after officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck.
Though Chauvin was the only one restricting Floyd’s breathing, the other three officers with him didn’t do anything to stop him, and if there wasn’t video footage it’s unlikely the officers would have been charged.
This isn’t to say there are no good police officers – there are plenty who have shown their support for the Black Lives Matter movement and who would never have treated Floyd or those protesting his death in the way other officers have.
However, it is not good enough to simply be ‘not-racist’ – action must consistently be taken against those fuelling the issues, or else they will only continue.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk