A "terrible cycle of violence and thuggery" is ravaging Omaha, Nebraska, according to the Omaha Police Officers Association. What is a thug, though? Well, the police boosters know one when they see one. In this case, it's a diapered toddler in a crazy cellphone video.
"[D]espite the fact that it is sickening, heartbreaking footage, we have an obligation to share it to continue to educate the law abiding public about the terrible cycle of violence and thuggery that some young innocent children find themselves helplessly trapped in," a blogger at OmahaPOA.com wrote. The "heartbreaking" footage in question is a profanity-laden insult-fest between the child and two purported relatives. Watch it for yourself:
"Now while we didn't see anything in this video that is blatantly 'illegal', we sure did see a lot that is flat out immoral and completely unhealthy for this little child from a healthy upbringing standpoint," the POA post reads, concluding:
Folks….soak this in.
You are literally watching "the cycle" of violence continue right in front of your eyes.
A powerful cycle that must be broken if we ever hope to get a handle on violence in Omaha.
A powerful cycle that the police alone cannot stop.
Asked whether it was unreasonable to toss around the word "thug" in this context, Union President John Wells—who is a sergeant in the Omaha Police Department—told Gawker, "We use that as a general term on our Facebook page," but it could be substituted by a variety of other terms: "abnormal, antisocial, criminal."
Wells stumbled slightly when asked about the connection between the toddler in the video and the city's street violence. "A lot of these children end up dealing with law enforcement," he said, later adding, "I'm not saying that this kid won't grow up to be a productive member of society."
And while the POA post called the video's creator—who is reportedly the toddler's uncle—a "local thug," Wells said, "I don't know that he's a gangbanger... he mentions 29th Street, which is a local Bloods gang here."
Wells acknowledged that the post is incendiary, but said that's the point. "Because we're a bargaining group, we have a lot more latitude to be a little more edgy" than the police department, he says—and that edginess is necessary to force a deeper conversation on the city's crime problems. Omaha is largely ethnically segregated, he says, and many residents dismiss crime by saying "it didn't happen in my part of town, [so] that's not a problem."
But the video doesn't show crimes, or known criminals, and the debate it spurred on the POA's Facebook page is all over the place. Amid discussions by educators, there are the usual political soapboxes: "It is a crazy world welfare has created...Women can spread their legs for anyone without suffering the consequences when they have Uncle Sam to be their provider (baby's daddy)...And people wonder why black on black crime is so high in this country."
The creator of the video, who didn't respond to a request for comment from Gawker, did himself no favors in a comment he posted to the POA's Facebook page:
Man fuck all of yall because the matter of the fact is you act like we was giving that little boy weed or we have a gun in his hand or something bitch no! but I put your ass in an orphanage don't ever talk on my fuckin cousin move around with that shit I don't give a fuck about you , the police or these motherfuckers leaving comments on this motherfucker so therefore all yall can suck my dick nigga!
In the meantime, with the help of colleague and white-violence expert Cord Jefferson, I have embedded below a clear example of "the WASP cycle" continuing. It's hard to look at, but be strong. Civilization is at stake, and you have to know what you're up against, friends.