Target: New York Police Department Chief James P. O’Neill
Goal: Dismiss police officer who reportedly runs an Instagram account that promotes violence against protesters and people of color.
A police officer is under investigation for allegedly promoting violence against the community and posting racist memes on his public Instagram account that he uses to sell “pro-cop” merchandise. According to New York Police Department (NYPD) Officer Matthew Langone, “pro-cop” apparently means shirts that advocate for violently restraining protesters and images that use racist terms like “hood rats.”
The shirt in question, which caught the attention of one anti-police brutality activist, says “I [heart] PROTESTERS,” but instead of a heart, it’s a zip tie wrist cuff commonly used to restrain protesters, and the letters “OT” are highlighted in blue. This suggests that Office Langone is a fan of getting paid overtime to arrest and subdue people who are exercising their constitutional right to protest.
Another image from this Instagram account features a white man looking forlornly at assault weapons on a table and says “When you wanna pop off rounds in your neighborhood like the rest of the hood rats but you gotta be responsible.” Not only is the term “hood rats” racist against black people, it suggests that this officer has an underlying desire to randomly fire off shots in a neighborhood.
All of this is unbecoming of an officer of the law and suggests that he is not fit for service. The NYPD claims that they’re investigating to ensure that the Instagram account does indeed belong to Officer Langone, but he is known for selling shirts like the one described above. Sign to demand that Langone be dismissed from the force and never re-hired.
Dear Chief O’Neill,
I understand that one of your officers, Matthew Langone, is under investigation for possibly running an Instagram account that promotes police brutality and uses racist language. It seems very likely that you will find that the account does belong to him, and in that case, it’s essential that you show you’re serious about rooting out these kinds of attitudes from your force by firing Officer Langone.
Police brutality is a massive problem in this country, especially when it comes to violence against community members of color. Part of the reason for this is because so many people have been hired onto police forces who harbor violent and prejudiced attitudes. If cops are going to be allowed to enforce laws, up to and including the use of deadly force, then they need to be held up to the highest standards.
Show the people of New York that you’re not going to allow this kind of violent hatred to fester in the NYPD. If it’s found that the Instagram account does belong to Langone, fire him and ensure he is never re-hired onto your force again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Fibonacci Blue