A conversation unfolded on Facebook yesterday involving an elected law enforcement official in El Paso. The only possible explanation for some of these clearly racist arguments would have to be the old, “my Facebook account was hacked!” I sent a message to Angie Sommers asking her to clarify if the comments are hers and if she stands by them. As of the time of writing this I have not heard back from Constable Sommers.

The post started innocently enough on a local attorney’s Facebook. He posted a picture of George Floyd, the man who died while a Minneapolis police officer pinned his neck down with his knee for over 10 minutes. The post also included George Floyd’s last words.

“Please I can’t breathe.

My stomach hurts.

My neck hurts.

Everything hurts.

They’re going to kill me.”

GEORGE FLOYD

Say My Name

Rest in Power

Local Constable and retired police officer Angie Sommers’ first reply was…kind of reasonable?

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So, there’s the mild implication that this is somehow the fault of the media along with the baffling argument that “if they knew they were being recorded why would they do the thing they were recorded doing?” So, definitely some red flag but if that had been all I probably wouldn’t be writing about it.

But then, when others pointed out that no matter what Floyd had done, it didn’t justify what happened to him, she responded. And kept responding. And KEPT responding.

Eventually it got to the point where she was responding with many of the talking points that racists use when talking about the complicated issue of police and the African-American community.

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This is the classic, “let’s quit talking about this serious issue because OTHER issues exist”. It’s nonsensical and, in this case, racist.

After a suggestion that she “turn in her badge”, THIS followed:

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But…it’s an issue with race at its core. How can ‘the race card” NOT be played?

Somebody named Michael suggested she watches too much Fox News:

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There is the racist tactic of lumping ALL protestors in with the ones committing property crimes. Out of all the people who are angered and want something to be done about it how many do you think broke a window or lit a fire? 1%? No, not even close to that. But let’s go ahead and demonize everyone who disagrees.

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That is some high-level toxic “Karen Privilege” there. So, Angie Sommers, a non-African American officer of the law, would have saved the day if she’d been there! So, why didn’t the bystanders who were taking video INTERFERE WITH POLICE who were armed and had ordered them NOT to come any closer?!? I’m sure if the young woman who’s voice we hear on the recording had only summoned her Inner-Angie Sommers, the Minneapolis officers would have seen the error of their ways and immediately apologized. If that is how someone views the power dynamic between police and the public, ESPECIALLY the African-American public…I’ll just say it: they have NO business being in law-enforcement.

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Again. “This community”. Did you hear that? Of course not. Because it was a “dog whistle”.

Then, the OP reminds Constable Sommers that when people DID protest peacefully they were punished, called names and black-balled from the NFL.

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Don’t protest violently OR peacefully. Angie, it sounds like you’re actually saying “Don’t protest at all. Because you don’t matter.”

Some of the people who read this have suggested #DEELECTANGIESOMMERS . Angie Sommers is my neighbor and I’ve never known her to be anything but courteous and pleasant. With that in mind, before “#cancelling” her I say this: Angie, please, please reconsider your position. By all means, don’t apologize if you don’t mean it. But, I know how Facebook arguments can escalate and how people can post things out of anger. Believe me, I KNOW. Can you re-examine this and see how some of your rhetoric IS part of the problem?

Or, you know, claim that you were hacked. That seems to be a popular work-around.

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