The “Racist” Police Department That Wasn’t

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The liberal media seized on a story this week that 5 of the 6 police officers in tiny Parma, Missouri, quit after the first black female mayor was elected.

Their unspoken narrative? “Those racist cops, at it again!”

Except the story seems less, for lack of a better term, black and white than the media’s simplistic interpretation.

Once the dust settled, it seems like the police officers who quit had very good reason to do so–because of newly-elected Mayor Tyus Byrd’s attitude towards police, not because of her race.

Former police chief Trish Cohen, along with her assistant chief Rich Medley, explained their side of the story.

“You can’t have an anti-police mayor,” Cohen said, “and that’s the way she made me feel. My decision was not, did not, come lightly. At all. It has nothing to do with race. If it had anything to do with race, I’d done never went to work in the town.”

Medley added: “From the moment [Byrd] announced her candidacy, she never approached any of us, never advised us what her plans were or anything. Never asked us to stay or told us that the moment she took office that we weren’t going to have a job. We were in the dark on it, and then in hearing from her supporters that she was going to fire all of us, [we figured we] might as well start looking for something else.’

Simply put, Medley said: “I resigned due to trust issues.”

In Medley’s mind, Mayor Byrd was a controversial mayor-elect–but not because of her race or gender. Byrd’s father was a powerful city councilman in the racially-mixed town of 700 residents–and had a history of interfering with police investigations when it benefited him. Medley was afraid Byrd would strike a similar course as mayor.

Medley described his previous encounters with Byrd as acrimonious, with her telling his fellow cops: “I have family on the City Council; I’ll have your badge; I’ll have your job!”
He continued: “If I’ve got to be concerned whether or not I’m going to lose my job doing an action any other police officer would do, then that creates hesitation. And in this line of work hesitation can mean life or death.”

Despite what the mainstream media wants the narrative to be, it’s clear that not every story is racially motivated. Sometimes people just quit because they don’t want to work for someone they can’t trust–not because of their boss’s skin color.

Adam Campbell
Adam Campbell is a former military brat, who grew up all over the world--but considers Milwaukee, WI, where he and his wife currently live, to be his home. He enjoys reporting the real news, without bias.