I created the acronym SMACSS, short for Social Media Assisted Career Suicide Syndrome, on November 20, 2012, after watching a music video on YouTube called “Driving While Black” (the video is at the bottom of this post). The video included acting roles for two Prince George’s County, Maryland police officers. They were in uniform and driving a marked PGPD cruiser. The police chief was not happy with what he saw and held a press conference announcing that the situation was being dealt with.
It’s still difficult to comprehend the arrogance and the thought process that would guide any public safety employee to believe it’s okay to represent their department this way, without permission, and particularly involving a controversial issue.
This week, we come right back to where we started. Another police officer, in uniform, performing in a rap music video about policing issues in the news. But this time the cop is from St. Joseph, Missouri and the video has a much different view of racial issues than the one in 2012.
For officers to appear in such videos, I imagine there must be some level of frustration about the issues. But no matter the agenda, the idea that someone in public safety thinks it’s okay to do this, also reeks of selfishness and stupidity.
Both videos are below. Note that once the controversy came to light, the faces of St. Joseph Officer Zackary Craft and others in the recent video were blurred.
A Missouri police officer has been placed on unpaid administrative leave after appearing in a rap music video, in uniform, holding a sign reading “Cops lives matter.”
St. Joseph, Mo., Officer Zackary Craft can also be seen reaching for his gun in the J. Smitty video “Before This Bomb Blows Up (Racism Goes Both Ways).”
The video shows Smith rapping that “racism goes both ways” as he spits on a picture of Al Sharpton and breaks pictures of Jackson, Obama and hooded Ku Klux Klan members. He then burns the images.
The St. Joseph police department “in no way condones the video,” a spokesperson said.