Krista Vernoff

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‘Grey’s Anatomy’ showrunner highlights police double standard in Twitter thread

'If I had been shot in the back by police...would you say I deserved it?'

Jun 16, 2020, 3:16 pm*

Internet Culture

Siobhan Ball 

Siobhan Ball

Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff put together a Twitter thread listing all the illegal things she’s done since adolescence to demonstrate the double standard Black victims of police brutality are held to.

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When I was 15, I was chased through a mall by police who were yelling “Stop thief!” I had thousands of dollars of stolen merchandise on me.  I was caught, booked, sentenced to 6 months of probation, required to see a parole officer weekly. I was never even handcuffed.    THREAD:
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Vernoff starts with an account of the time she was caught shoplifting at fifteen, where cops didn’t bother to handcuff her after they’d chased her down and she was let off with only six months probation despite the thousands of dollars in stolen merchandise she’d been carrying on her.

She then goes on to tweet a long list of drug, alcohol, and fighting-related crimes, some of which were committed directly in front of police officers, and none of which resulted in her arrest or violence directed at her from the police.

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Between the ages of 11 and 22, my friends and I were chased and/or admonished by police on several occasions for drinking or doing illegal drugs on private property or in public. I have no criminal record.
Krista Vernoff

One officer allegedly laughed and told her he’d like to have her as a partner should she ever join the force after witnessing her punch a man in front of him. Even though her victim wanted to press charges, she was allowed to go home with nothing but a warning to stay inside the rest of the night.

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When I was twenty, with all of my strength, I punched a guy in the face -- while we were both standing two feet from a cop. The guy went to the ground and came up bloody and screaming that he wanted me arrested, that he was pressing charges.
Krista Vernoff
The cop pulled me aside and said, “You don’t punch people in front of cops,” then laughed and said that if I ever joined the police force he’d like to have me as a partner. I was sent into my apartment and told to stay there.
Krista Vernoff
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Vernoff goes on to ask her white readers whether or not they’d have said she deserved it if the police at the mall had shot her in the back, as so many say of the Black Americans killed by police after committing very minor crimes.

If I had been shot in the back by police after the shoplifting incident - in which I knowingly and willfully and soberly and in broad daylight RAN FROM THE COPS – would you say I deserved it?
Krista Vernoff
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She followed this up with a request that they think about all the crimes they themselves have committed, how those crimes are euphemistically referred to as “mistakes” when perpetrated by a white person, and how those reading this thread were allowed to go on to build a life for themselves—something so often not afforded to Black teenagers.

I’m asking the white people reading this to think about the crimes you’ve committed. (Note: You don't call them crimes. You and your parents call them mistakes.) Think of all the mistakes you’ve made that you were allowed to survive.
Krista Vernoff
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A number of white Twitter users joined in with sharing their own criminal pasts, and how their whiteness allowed them to move on from having committed these crimes with little or frequently no consequences whatsoever.

At age 19 I was pulled over around 4:30 am with a car full of friends coming home from the strip club. I was clocked at 93 mph in a 70. When I was looking for my registration in my glove box I had an air soft pistol that looked very simliar to a real gun. I pulled it out while
@tstandlickwl_20
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Trying to explain what it was. Cops yelled “GUN” and “let me see everyone’s hands!” so we all put our hands up. Both cops put their hands near their guns but never unclipped their holsters. If I were black I don’t believe I’d be here today.
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At age 19 I was pulled over around 4:30 am with a car full of friends coming home from the strip club. I was clocked at 93 mph in a 70. When I was looking for my registration in my glove box I had an air soft pistol that looked very simliar to a real gun. I pulled it out while
@tstandlickwl_20
GREAT THREAD. And this white lady who committed many crimes when I was young also has no criminal record agrees. I did get my drivers license suspended for underage drinking when I was 15 tho. That’s it and I have done far worse things than that. #BlackLivesMatter #WhitePrivilege
@JHCollins7
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Black Twitter users also shared how, despite not actually committing any crimes themselves, they have nonetheless been treated as criminal by the police. While black children as young as seven are frequently handcuffed and violently abused for acts ranging from “acting out” in school to jaywalking, mass murders like Dylan Roof are arrested “without incident” and brought Burger King by the police.

I'm black & have never committed any type of crime or mistake that could be called a crime & twice I was pulled over by cops in my 40 years. Both times The cops drew their guns & only put them away when they saw I was in the military. I think even that would get me killed today.
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I'm a law abiding citizen. PAy my taxes, and I've already paid the full amount into a soc.sec i will never see. Only 1 ticket on record (for improper start).  Of the 9 encounters w police, 6 have been aggressive and borderline threatening. Approaching with guns draw,etc Agreed.
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I will never forget a White doctor told me how different police and the law treated him vs Black men. He got in trouble in college and his parents who were also doctors made it all go away with the help of the judge and prosecutors.   WP get opportunities Black folk never have.

Vernoff finished with a call to defund the police, stating that “the system that murders Rayshard Brooks is a broken system that much change.”

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The system that lets me live and murders Rayshard Brooks is a broken system that must change. Stop defending it. Demand the change. #BlackLivesMatter #WhitePrivilege #DefundPolice
Krista Vernoff

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*First Published: Jun 16, 2020, 1:44 pm