The Enemy Within

Race and White Supremacy in American Policing

ghost skin cops white supremacy police racist enemy within

Illustration by Brian Stauffer

By STEVE VOLK

Anita Muldoon could sense that this might be her last chance to make it as a cop. She was riding shotgun in a Minneapolis squad car in the fall of 1993 when her training officer offered a blunt assessment of her standing. “You’re not trusted,” he told her. “And you won’t be until you’re in a physical fight.”

To rectify this, he said, she’d need to “leak” someone, as in make them bleed. Muldoon felt her stomach drop. She had known she would stick out from her peers — a liberal woman embarking on a law-enforcement career in her mid-thirties. She just hadn’t understood all the reasons why. Since coming to the 3rd Precinct, she’d often heard the n-word from her colleagues. Now her training officer motioned toward a black man walking in their direction on the sidewalk.

“He doesn’t even need to have done anything,” he said. “I’ll back you up.”

The training officer angled the car curbside and glanced at her to see if she accepted his invitation. In response, Muldoon says she remained quiet, her body rigid with panic. The officer drove on, the silence between them so tense that she figured her career was over.

Soon after, Muldoon was informed she had failed field training. She sent a letter of resignation to then-Police Chief John Laux, writing that she had been shuttled between more than a half-dozen training officers in the 3rd Precinct, who asked about her sexuality, the color of her fiancé, and casually lobbed racist statements into the conversation. Just weeks before she had been asked to “leak” someone, she tells Rolling Stone, a different training officer had leapt from their squad car, grabbed hold of a young black male crossing the street and beat him. He justified his assault by telling Muldoon that he’d arrested the young man in the past.

She ran through her experiences of racism inside the department in her letter, and closed with a warning: “Having experienced the system from the inside, I fear for the future of this city.”

After the entire nation was rocked by the killing of George Floyd, the black Minneapolis man murdered by a white cop in the same precinct where Muldoon had trained, her words look prophetic. She is speaking publicly for the first time, 27 years later, because Floyd’s needless death surfaced the racism she’d seen firsthand. “It is past time for white people and police to speak up about the racism they’ve witnessed,” she says today.

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Activists Hope Chauvin Convictions Are Start to Real Change (+2 more)

By AMY FORLITI, STEVE KARNOWSKI and MOHAMED IBRAHIM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — “One down, three to go!” went the chant just minutes after Derek Chauvin was convicted in George Floyd’s death — a reference to three more fired officers who are awaiting trial.In this image from video, former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin, center, stands after the verdict is read in his trial for the 2020 death of George Floyd, Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Standing next to him are attorneys Eric Nelson, left and Amy Voss. (Court TV via AP, Pool): George Floyd Officer Trial© Provided by Associated Press George Floyd Officer Trial

While the verdict was celebrated by activists and brought a sense of relief, talk soon turned to ambitions for greater change outside the courtroom.

Activists, Floyd’s family members and some public officials said Chauvin’s convictions on murder and manslaughter charges were just a start, and they will continue to push for systemic change in policing in Minneapolis and beyond.

“We need true justice,” Attorney General Keith Ellison, who led the team that prosecuted Chauvin, said after Tuesday’s verdict. “That is a social transformation that says that nobody’s beneath the law, and no one is above it.”

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Far-Right Extremists Wailing And Gnashing Their Teeth Over Chauvin Verdict

Predictably, racists aren’t happy that a white cop didn’t get away with murdering an unarmed Black man this one time.

By David Neiwert

Far-Right Extremists Wailing And Gnashing Their Teeth Over Chauvin Verdict
Image from: YouTube Screenshot

The online angst among white nationalists and other far-right extremists was neck-deep Tuesday following Derek Chauvin’s conviction for the murder of George Floyd.

“God help you if you’re a white male in this anti-white country,” wrote Andrew Torba, founder of the white nationalist-friendly chat site Gab, to his 3.2 million followers.

Many of the reactions were collected by Chuck Tanner at the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, who noted that “the response across the far right and white nationalist movement demonstrated its base lack of compassion and lack of mooring in reality.”

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Alternate Juror in Chauvin Trial on Testimony That “Really Got to Me”

By Jamie Yuccas

Lisa Christensen sat through every minute of the trial of Derek Chauvin as prosecutors and the defense each made their case in the killing of George Floyd.a woman smiling for the camera: cbsn-fusion-alternate-juror-in-chauvin-trial-speaks-out-about-case-witnesses-guilty-verdict-exclusive-thumbnail-698718-640x360.jpg© Credit: CBSNews cbsn-fusion-alternate-juror-in-chauvin-trial-speaks-out-about-case-witnesses-guilty-verdict-exclusive-thumbnail-698718-640×360.jpg

She was an alternate juror, so she did not have a role in the verdict, but in an exclusive interview for “CBS This Morning,” she said she was happy with the jury’s decision to convict Chauvin after weeks of hard testimony. Christensen said she was reluctant to be on the jury when she was first called up.

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Derek Chauvin’s Murder Trial Is Smashing Cops’ ‘Blue Wall of Silence’

Cops are testifying against a cop. That almost never happens.

By Trone Dowd

Left: Lt. Zimmerman testifies during the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in Hennepin County Court in downtown Minneapolis (CourtTV). Middle: Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is escorted from the rear of the Hennepin

LEFT: LT. RICHARD ZIMMERMAN TESTIFIES DURING THE TRIAL OF FORMER MINNEAPOLIS POLICE OFFICER DEREK CHAUVIN IN HENNEPIN COUNTY COURT IN DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS (COURTTV). MIDDLE: DEREK CHAUVIN IS ESCORTED FROM THE REAR OF THE HENNEPIN COUNTY FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER FRIDAY, SEPT. 11, 2020, IN MINNEAPOLIS. (DAVID JOLES/STAR TRIBUNE VIA AP). RIGHT: MINNEAPOLIS POLICE CHIEF MEDARIA ARRADONDO TESTIFIES DURING THE TRIAL OF DEREK CHAUVIN IN HENNEPIN COUNTY COURT. (COURTTV).

The unspoken bond among police to defend each other, often no matter the circumstances, has continuously hindered investigating and prosecuting officers accused of wrongdoing. But that so-called Blue Wall of Silence is now crumbling around Derek Chauvin, who’s facing up to 65 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd.

“In no way, shape, or form is what Officer Chauvin did part of our training, ethics, or values,” Minneapolis’ first Black police chief, Medaria Arradondo, said plainly in front of the jury Monday.

In the last four days of Chauvin’s murder trial, several high-ranking police officers have taken the stand and openly condemned his actions, which reignited a national movement against police violence last summer. Law enforcement witnesses have repeatedly testified that Chauvin never should have kneeled on Floyd’s neck, and certainly not for more than 9 minutes when the 46-year-old Black man wasn’t actively resisting. They’ve also said that doing so violated their training, department policies, and moral promise to serve. 

“To rally around Chauvin and say, ‘This is policing as normal, this is acceptable practice,’ would risk greater harm to the reputation of the police than basically just coming forward and saying, ‘This is not who we are, and this is not what we do,” Daniel Medwed, a criminal justice professor at Northeastern University’s School of Law, told VICE News. “I think all of them are aligned with coming forward and saying Chauvin is outside of our group: that he is a bad apple but we are a good tree.”

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Calling Chauvin a “Bad Apple” Denies Systemic Nature of Racist Police Violence

Law enforcement stands guard outside the Hennepin County Government Center, as the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin continues inside, on April 2, 2021, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Law enforcement stands guard outside the Hennepin County Government Center, as the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin continues inside, on April 2, 2021, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

As the murder trial of Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd proceeds, the prosecution will try to portray the defendant as a “bad apple.” In his opening statement, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell alerted the jurors that they would hear police officials testify Chauvin used excessive force in violation of departmental policy to apply restraints only as necessary to bring a person under control. However, this argument obfuscates the racist violence inherent in the U.S. system of policing.

The first prosecution witness to testify about Minnesota Police Department (MPD) policies was retired Sgt. David Ploeger, the supervising police sergeant on duty the day Chauvin killed Floyd. It was his job to conduct use of force reviews. Ploeger testified, “When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officer,” when he was handcuffed on the ground and no longer resisting, “they could have ended the restraint.”

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