Our Best and Our Brightest

One of our precious Boys in Blue, a Vermont State Trooper, is responsible for the above mess. Allegedly responsible.

This is a screenshot from a rousing game of Mad Verse City that involved several troopers. (Allegedly.) MVC is a cheap-looking online game that tests your rap skills. And I think it’s safe to say that not only did the participants freely engage in racist, ableist and misogynistic language, they’re monumentally shitty rappers to boot. (The black band obscures a variant of the N-word, which you can guess from context.)

Another (alleged) blue-shirted rapper closed his rhyme with “If being racist is right, then I’ll never be wrong.” A third used the word “retarded” in a rap that included his (alleged) real name.

Pack of geniuses we’ve got here.

Oh, and three of the participants chose as their game names Laqueefa, Lil’ Cumdrop, and Herambe. The first two should need no explanation; please take your questions to the Urban Dictionary. “Herambe” appears to be a misspelled version of Harambe, a silverback gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo that was shot and killed in 2016 after a five-year-old child got into his enclosure. So, white trooper taking on the name of a gorilla in a game about a black art form? Suuuuure.

This stuff is all from a VTDigger story that focuses on how VSP Commissioner Jennifer Morrison responded to the matter. Initially she decided not to open investigation, only to change her mind after the story developed. Which I think sounds worse than it actually is; the initial report she received had very little detail and she changed her mind when she got the full story.

I’m willing to defer judgment on her management until we see how the investigation is handled. Any trooper who used language like this, even in a recreational pastime, should be kicked off the force. If all they get is “sensitivity training” or some such, well, I’ll call bullshit.

To me, the real scandal isn’t how Morrison responded to a sketchy complaint. It’s how the hell do we have this caliber of people in our state police? How selective are we? Are applicants tested for biases that might impact their performance or the department’s reputation? Do they have to show they can write in complete sentences that make sense? (“Go get a anal beads”?) And what kind of locker-room mentality exists in the department that would make these guys think their behavior was acceptable?

Is this another state agency that needs a culture change? Will state leaders have the guts and commitment to implement that change and enforce standards of decency and equity?

Do we have to change our recruitment strategy so we stop hiring meatheads to dispense justice?

All questions that are more important than why Morrison waited a couple of days to launch an investigation. In context, that’s nothing more than a distraction. The troopers who played the game and didn’t think anything of it, and the entire department, should be under the spotlight.

2 thoughts on “Our Best and Our Brightest

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