A Louisiana Cop's Insanely Racists Texts Capture a Serious Problem With America's Police

This is what racism in the 21st century looks like: "I wish someone would pull a Ferguson on them and take them out. I hate looking at those African monkeys at work ... I enjoy arresting those thugs with their saggy pants."

That is just one text message obtained by the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana that was sent by 15-year veteran police officer Michael Elsbury. After a slew of racist text messages emerged late last week, Elsbury resigned on Thursday. 

As a criminal investigation is launched, Elsbury's actions as a protector and defender of the largely African American community of the Fourth District near Southern University will certainly come under intense scrutiny. But the worst part is that this happens far too often. After the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., a Kansas City police officer posted racially-charged messages on his Facebook page, and a St. Louis County cop was suspended after a racist, sexist rant went viral while he was on duty during the civil unrest in Ferguson.

It's horrifying to think such bigoted ideology can be so easily ingrained in the cops supposedly safeguarding American citizens, especially when minority communities are subject to overwhelmingly white police forces. No wonder minorities in the suburbs have the least trust in local police.

The text messages: An unidentified female friend of Elsbury's brought the messages to the attention of the NAACP and the Baton Rouge Police Department. They are all laden with intense hatred and racial slurs. Another read, "They are nothing but a bunch of monkeys!!!! The only reason they have this job is because of the n***** in them."

NAACP state President Ernest Johnson said he was shown several messages on Wednesday that were allegedly from Elsbury and sent to a friend not on the police force, reports the Advocate. Soon after, police chief Carl Dabadie said that detectives quickly went through the phone and its contents to authenticate that Elsbury was the person responsible. 

After reading them Dabadie told the Advocate, "It was gut-wrenching to believe that someone had that much hate in them, especially a police officer who is out there enforcing the law every day. It made me sick to my stomach."

On Wednesday evening, Elsbury was placed on administrative leave and by Thursday afternoon, Elsbury resigned. Dabadie affirmed that while the precinct is not 100% positive about the authenticity of the messages just yet, Elsbury's resignation is symbolic. 

However, the police chief assured the public that one bad seed does not make all of the produce rotten. "I believe this is an isolated incident that occurred between the officer and this girl. I do not want this to become a direct reflection on our officers. I have 650 officers, and 649 of them work their butts off every day for the city of Baton Rouge," Dabadie said

The takeaway: This severe parade of racism is nothing short of an abomination. A Baton Rouge cop who worked in a predominantly black community was filled with prejudice and abhorrence for the people he was supposed to shield and serve. Elsbury maintained this for 15 years, which is 15 years too long. 

h/t The Advocate

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Jenna Kagel

Jenna Kagel covers global and national social injustices. She also focuses on political dysfunction, the intersection of money and policy, and the US criminal justice system.

MORE FROM

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.

Serena Williams responds to John McEnroe's comments saying she would rank "like 700" against men

Williams said his statements were "not factually based."

People are way less likely to be helpful when it's hot out, according to study

Sorry, it's too hot out to help you move.

Democrats, the American Medical Association and US bishops blast the Senate health care bill

According to the Congressional Budget Office, 15 million more Americans will be without health insurance next year if the bill passes.

Dow Jones won’t talk about its reported pay gap problem

A study released by the union representing Dow Jones employees found evidence of a "significant pay gap between men and women" who had the same job title and level of experience.

Mom slams ACA repeal, shows what's at stake in a tweetstorm about son's health

This mom says that without the ACA, her son wouldn't get the medical care he desperately needs.

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.