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What a tampon in a Frappuccino says about policing in America
It is one of the most stomach-churning mysteries of our time. Did a Starbucks barista really put a tampon in a cop’s coffee? Or did the cop fabricate the incident? Enquiring minds want to know.
Earlier this week Bill Melugin, a reporter for a Fox News affiliate in Los Angeles, tweeted a photo of what he claimed was a tampon that had been sneakily submerged in an off-duty police officer’s Frappuccino. Melugin noted that the officer had used his police credit union debit card to pay for the drink – thereby alerting staff to his occupation. We are left to presume that a radicalized cop-hating barista trained in sanitary warfare cruelly took advantage of the situation.
I’m not sure whether Melugin has ever seen a real-life tampon before but the mega-long object he tweeted doesn’t really look like one. And that’s not the only thing that doesn’t quite add up about this incident, which is now being investigated by both the police and the internet. Target, which licenses the Starbucks in question, has reviewed security footage and said they didn’t find any suspicious behaviour.
It is too early to draw final conclusions about the Tamp-puccino trauma. However it is worth noting that America’s police officers seem to find themselves embroiled in fabricated fast-food fracases with alarming regularity. Earlier this month, for example, three New York cops alleged that their Shake Shack milkshakes had been poisoned; it turned out the imaginary incident had probably been invented by the police labor union. Then there was the Kansas police officer who admitted that he’d lied about being served a McDonald’s coffee with “f-ing pig” written on it. And the Indianapolis cop who forgot he’d taken a bite out of his McChicken and fries and claimed a rogue McDonald’s employee had sabotaged his lunch.
If we can’t trust the police to tell the truth about their fast food orders then how on earth can we trust them to tell the truth about anything else?
The short answer to that is that most of us can’t trust the police. Black people can’t trust the police not to murder them or plant guns on them. Women can’t trust the police to take sexual violence seriously: last year, for example, the Minneapolis Police Department admitted that it had discovered 1,500 untested rape kits, spanning 30 years, in storage. Whoops! Women can’t even trust the cops to have a basic understanding of female anatomy. A 2018 study of the Austin, Texas, police department found the officers in charge of investigating sexual assault often couldn’t read lab reports; one officer proudly admitted he had to “Google stuff like ‘labia majora’.” No doubt the same guy has absolutely no idea what a tampon looks like.
We shouldn’t dismiss incidents like the Shake Shack “poisoning” as silly lies by a few bad apples – they point to a deeper rot in policing. For decades minority communities have been terrorized by “broken windows” policing: minor violations are treated harshly to prevent more serious crimes. But the police have never applied this same theory to themselves. Police misconduct is often shrouded in secrecy: according to WNYC, a police officer’s disciplinary history is effectively confidential in almost half of US states. Too often, dishonest police officers are shielded from scrutiny until their conduct results in tragedy. Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd, had received at least 17 complaints during his time with the department.
The police are supposed to protect and serve. But it is becoming increasingly obvious that the only people they’re interested in protecting are themselves. Even if that means serving themselves “poisoned” drinks in a bid to get public sympathy.
Nigerian pop star allegedly abducted woman who accused him of rape
A woman has accused D’banj (who you may know from hit songs like Oliver Twist) of holding her hostage after she reported him to the police. Seyitan Babatayo says the police did not pursue the case and handed her to D’banj’s management team, who pressured her to retract her statements. Babatayo’s claims have caused an outcry in Nigeria where activism around sexual abuse has been on the rise.
Roseanne Barr calls Trump the ‘first woman president’ in weird rambling video
Nasa renames headquarters after Mary W Jackson
Jackson was the first African American female engineer at Nasa. Her extraordinary achievements got the widespread attention they deserved after the release of the 2016 film Hidden Figures, which also highlighted the work of African-American Nasa mathematicians Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan.
Many US women want fewer children because of the pandemic
Weird how a public health emergency that has set off an economic emergency which has exacerbated existing inequality means more women are reconsidering reproducing.
Pregnant women with Covid-19 more likely to get very sick
A new report from the CDC suggests pregnant women are more likely to become extremely sick from Covid-19 than other groups – however the good news is they don’t seem any more likely to die.
Lockdown is spurring ‘turbo relationships’
New research has found that the pandemic is making new couples’ relationships move at super-speed. (Us gays are ahead of the curve on this one – we were U-hauling in the “beforetimes”.)
Why are women turned off by men with cats?
Women are less likely to swipe right on dating profiles of men who are posing with cats, according to a study by Colorado State University. “Men holding cats were viewed as less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable, and open; and less dateable,” the study found. “American culture has distinguished ‘cat men’ as less masculine, perhaps creating a cultural preference for ‘dog men’ among most heterosexual women.” Perhaps it’s time to smash the paw-triarchy.
The post If police lie about a tampon in a coffee, how can we trust them on anything? appeared first on The Guardian.