Jamie Garrett Agrees With Texas State Trooper’s Decision to File Lawsuit Over Snoop Dogg Photo at SXSW
It was a running punchline for a few days during the height of South by Southwest in late March. A Texas State Trooper was reprimanded for posing for a photo with Snoop Dogg, and now the trooper is biting back.
I've heard of police officers getting into hot water for asking celebrities or athletes for athletes. There was the Baltimore officer that got in trouble for asking Derek Jeter for an autograph. There was the Chicago officer that got in trouble for a Jeter autograph. Cops have pulled celebs over for autographs.
This wasn't that, however. This wasn't Snoop D-O-Double-Gizzle complaining about being harassed. This was the Texas State Troopers being out of touch. What kind of message is this sending to the public? At a time when the relationship between police and the black community is strained to new heights (or lows), the troopers could have gone two ways. They chose wrong.
As many thousands on social media pointed out, had the celeb in question been Willie Nelson it wouldn't have created a wave. Or wouldn't it? As the trooper in question, Billy Spears, explains it, this is retribution over an incident several years back. The allegations seem far-fetched, but that will be for a jury to decide, as Trooper Spears has filed a lawsuit.
As a guy that's had people come after him from the inside at work, I know you're powerless to do anything. Powerless, that is, unless you're handed proof on a platter by having the retribution become VERY public with you VERY clearly on the right side of the wrong. That's where Trooper Spears finds himself right now.
I'm actually hoping this is a case of retribution. It would be disappointing, in a way, for Trooper Spears, but it would be a huge sigh of relief from those of us that want the tension in communities across the country ease, just a tiny bit, from knowing this wasn't a race or a "thug" issue.
Maybe the counseling would have been ordered if it WAS red-eyed Willie Nelson posing for the pic. We can all hope this was just a case of A-Holes trying to get back at someone for a personal reason. It's the best-case scenario here. Otherwise, it's one more story pointing out the lack of proper respect paid by the police to the black community in general, and God knows we need that to stop.