It hasn’t been a great year for whatever poor soul is tasked with managing the Austin Police Department’s public relations (let’s hope it’s not Strange Fruit PR).
Between the aggressive arrest of a young woman jogging through West Campus and the release of audio from officers making rape jokes, the evidence is stacking up that APD fosters a culture that is unfriendly towards women. And now, this:
“Now, stop and think about this. I don’t care who you are. You think about the women’s movement today, [women say]‘Oh, we want to go [into]combat,’ and then, ‘We want equal pay, and we want this.’ You want to go fight in combat and sit in a foxhole? You go right ahead, but a man can’t hit you in public here? Bulls–t! You act like a whore, you get treated like one!”
These comments were made to KUT reporter Joy Diaz, who was waiting to interview the head of the police union at his office building one day. She was approached by APD Officer Andrew Pietrowski, who decided that she was the perfect audience for his mansplaination of why Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancé , now wife, was really just an inevitable consequence of feminism.
If you’re not following Pietrowski’s airtight logic, allow me to break it down for you: Women want equality, which in some circumstances means the ability to serve in military roles. Thusly, you deserve to be treated with violence if you “act like a whore.”
And these are the public servants trusted with keeping the Austin safe.
Diaz played the clip of the assault apologist’s unsolicited opinion for APD Chief Art Acevedo, who told her, “Someone [who]has that mentality has no business being a cop.”
Sure does seem like a lot of APD cops have no business being a cop, Art! These alarming examples of misogyny aren’t just coincidental; they’re symptoms of a departmental culture that devalues women and people of color.
It’s the same culture that will ensure, according to Diaz, that Austinites’ tax dollars will continue to funnel into Pietrowski’s bank account for years to come. Although Pietrowski suddenly “retired” last Friday, he will still get his pension. Same for APD Detective Charles Kleinert, who was rewarded with an early retirement and a $72,000 per year pension after he chased down and executed an unarmed, nonviolent, innocent black man.
If someone with Pietrowski’s “mentality” has “no business being a cop,” prove it, Chief Acevedo. Because to the rest of Texas, it looks like demonstrating violent anti-woman and anti-POC opinions only results in extra vacation days and early retirement.
Natalie tweets from @nsanluis.