A detective in Illinois just got hammered for doing something that’s totally inappropriate and just plain wrong for any law enforcement officer to participate in.
Detective Esteban Gomez was caught on video telling a teenage suspect that he was being detained because he was white. Just imagine what would happen if a white police officer said something similar to black person? Riots. Riots everywhere.
Gomez made his offhanded remark while questioning several teenagers outside of a pawn shop in the town of Lake Villa, Illinois. The inquiries were in regard to a theft investigation.
The detective has received a pretty sharp reprimand for “acting inappropriately and unprofessionally” according to Lake Villa Police Chief Craig Somerville.
“Detective Gomez admitted his words were poorly chosen and insensitive, and he immediately regretted what he had said,” Somerville said in a statement, the Lake County News-Sun reported.
Here’s more from Fox News:
Dezi Baczek, 18, who posted the video on Facebook, told the News-Sun that Gomez had approached her and her friends as they exited the pawn shop, and ordered them to sit on the curb or be arrested.
In the video, a member of the group asks Gomez if he is being detained because he is a teenager or because he is wearing baggy pants.
It’s “because you’re white,” the detective responds.
“Detective Gomez has been disciplined for behavior unbecoming an officer. He will be assisting me with speaking to the parents and teens involved in this incident,” the chief said in a statement, the paper reported.
Here is her Facebook post in it’s entirety:
“Once again detective Gomez of the lake villa police dept. is discriminating us because we are “white”/ we had no drugs on us we where at the pawn shop and when we walked out we were yelled at to sit down …. Everything that happened from then on is in this video •SHARE• just wanna make it clear all of us sitting down did not do anything wrong we were with someone who got into trouble and we didn’t know anything about it till that point. Also I went to the shop to pawn something so my little brother could go and buy this book he has been wanting to get !!! (Only thing that had happened before I thought of recording was we had been told to sit down with out any reasoning)”
The video that was posted online has received well over 70,000 views and 600 shares, which once again illustrates the power of video and social media in the battle to hold those individuals in positions of authority accountable for their actions.
What this officer did was inexcusable, and the same would be said if the tables were turned and it was a white officer talking to kids of color. It’s uncalled for and absolutely unnecessary.
This isn’t an issue of skin color, race, ethnicity, whatever. It’s a matter of honoring the office and authority you’ve been entrusted with, and this officer clearly violated that and deserves to be disciplined for it.
Let’s hope this detective has learned his lesson and assuming he’s let back on the job, proceeds with caution when questioning suspects so as not to violate their rights.