Texas police come under the scanner for drag racing cop cars
But should they face excessive scrutiny because of racial discrimination elsewhere?
As they say, the night is darkest before dawn. But sometimes, do we ourselves put on the curtains to stretch our time in the dark? At a time when communities are raging against police brutality and racial discrimination, a video of cops racing against each other went viral, only to get scrutinised by the higher authorities. I guess I summarised it vaguely. Let me start over.
As per local news station WFAA, last month, a couple of Sheriff's deputies took to the Yellow Belly Drag Strip in Grand Prairie, Texas to race against each other. Probably a jovial bet on whose dominion extends the farthest.
Opposed to the ongoing sentiments towards the police in the USA, the crowd at the drag strip seemed rather enthusiastic. One of the audience members went on to record both Dodge Charger Pursuit vehicles at the start of the race, and it is this video, which has gone viral since.
It was only when the Sheriff's office came across this viral video is how the authorities got aware of this incident in the first place. Post that, a spokesperson from the office described the race as 'not authorised' by administrators. Furthermore, the office has claimed to launch an investigation in the issue as mentioned above.
However, apart from pipping the status quo by taking the patrol vehicles to race, do you see anything else wrong here? "In the eyes of the public, we saw it as a sign on positivity, based on [what] we have going on in this country," said one participant. "We don't think it'll be right if they got in trouble."
The pair of deputies got further support by from the audience cheering from the sidelines as witnesses described the event as a bonding experience between law enforcement and members of the community. And I agree with them.
It's like two teachers going against each other in a classroom chalk fight. Wouldn't the students be ecstatic on seeing such a display? Moreover, this move to participate against each other and not as a single team gave out a much stronger message.
A win or lose situation against the public may have gotten comprehended as police taking another dig at the public or the coloured residents. But pitting themselves against each other gave out a message that the authorities are also a part of the community who likes to get involved and have fun.
While talking about fun, the cars involved in the incident were Dodge Charger Pursuit vehicles, developed exclusively for the law enforcement authorities. Two engine options are on offer - a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine that comes as standard or a 5.7-litre HEMI V8 engine which can be opted for. The former puts out 292hp and gets equipped with rear-wheel-drive while the latter gets 78 horses more and all-wheel-drive.
Which brings me back to my question, by criticising the actions of the deputy duo here, are we putting on the curtains here? If not for the ongoing racial discrimination cases, this would've just been a matter of going over the prescribed orders. But now, some may see it as an act of authoritarianism. How do you see this story?