Note to Cops: If You're Gonna Be So Thin-Skinned, You Should Stop Killing People

That's Andrew Hawkins, a wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns. He wore that shirt while warming up for his team's game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. As you can read, it calls for justice in the deaths of Tamir Rice, the 12 year-old who was shot to death by a Cleveland cop for holding a toy gun, and John Crawford, who was shot to death by a cop outside Dayton, Ohio, for the crime of holding a BB gun he had picked up while shopping in a Walmart. Both were killed within seconds of the arrival of the police, with no attempt to ascertain what was occurring. They are both awful situations that call for serious soul-searching by the police in Ohio, to hold the officers accountable in some way, to improve training so that such tragedies don't happen again, to perhaps confront the racism that seems to heighten the violence in these situations. That would all be meaningful and sensitive.

But it's so much easier to go batshit and attack Hawkins.

Yeah, like teenaged girls who just saw that bitch Tanya wearing that purple dress on Instagram when she knew perfectly well that Alicia was gonna wear the same one to the dance (god, Tanya, you don't even look good in purple), the Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association stomped its feet and demanded an apology: "It's pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law. They should stick to what they know best on the field. The Cleveland police protect and serve the Browns stadium and the Browns organization owes us an apology." You gotta love the implied threat there: "Mighty nice stadium you have here. Be a shame if we let your animal fans run wild."

The truth is a little more complicated. As the police union's president, John Fullmer, said, it's not just that cops patrol the area because, you know, it's their fucking job, but "many Cleveland police officers work security for the Browns games and are employed by Browns." So if those security officers who are paid by the Browns are so upset, they can quit and not get extra paychecks, which they probably need because of the shitty wages they made, possibly because the president of their union is spending his time attacking a football player instead of negotiating for a better fucking contract. (Note: Yeah, that's totally unfair. So's criticizing a guy upset because cops gunned down a kid.)

What is it with all the sensitive fucking cops? You had the St. Louis police group pissed off at the St. Louis Rams for some players for putting their hands up in unity with protesters over the shooting of Michael Brown. You have various NYPD groups pissed off that Mayor Bill de Blasio isn't on his knees, sucking off each and every officer in gratitude. All the cops here want apologies because their feelings are hurt or honor or what fucking ever. Jesus, for a bunch of tough motherfuckers, they're acting like thin-skinned wimps being bullied by the mean old liberals.

Howzabout a day or two of humility for the police, huh? Howzabout not acting like killing Brown or Eric Garner was some kind of triumph, like you took out Bonnie and Clyde? Howzabout shutting the fuck up over the killing of a kid and an obviously innocent man? Oh, wait, you'd rather try to force John Crawford's girlfriend to incriminate Crawford than admit to a crime or, perhaps, apologize.

Hawkins, though, stood fucking tall, man. He addressed the media Monday, saying, "My wearing of the T-shirt wasn't a stance against every police officer or every police department," Hawkins said. "My wearing of the T-shirt was a stance against wrong individuals doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason to innocent people...A call for justice shouldn't warrant an apology." That's being far, far more respectful of police officers than the police organizations and unions in all these situations. He's talking to them as grown-ups in a land that supposedly treasures free speech. The cops want to treat those who criticize them as children. They can't understand that to say some cops are shit doesn't mean all cops are shit. NFL players, about as much as anyone, understand how easy it is to be lumped in with your worst examples.

Yesterday, the Rude Pundit walked over to the spot where Eric Garner was killed on Staten Island. Unlike its portrayal in the media, it's not in some crime-ridden hellhole of a neighborhood. It's next to one of the busiest spots on the island, a short walk from the Borough Hall and NYPD headquarters, not to mention the ferry terminal. There's a great used bookstore right next to it where you can get vegan and gluten-free pastries.

A makeshift shrine has been erected there, with flowers and notes:

The Rude Pundit walked over to an evening protest led by Garner's daughter, Erica, who has vowed to lay down in the spot where her father died and lead protests several times a week. It was a drizzly, cold night. The numbers were a few dozen. The media attention was very little. Still, we chanted.

See, the police don't have to ask for an apology. They have to wait out the attention span of the American public. But hopefully people like Andrew Hawkins and Erica Garner will give discomfort to those who hide behind a motto of protection and service.