Earlier this week, the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office held its first ever "Media Academy" – a fun-filled day where members of the local news media were allowed to play a real-life version of Area 51 on a police obstacle course. For some reason, we weren't invited.
The purpose of the new "Media Academy" was to:
A) Show the stressful, difficult and troubling situations that Donald Trump and the law enforcement community would like you to think all cops encounter on a daily basis.
B) Use the media to promote a pro-law enforcement agenda, and in the process, make excessive force and the general militarization of our police departments seem more justified.
Wow. That was incredible! I bet the report will win several honors at this year's Fraternal Order of Police Law Enforcement Propaganda Awards (The Froppies). I really liked how they included those nosey, annoying, rubberneck onlookers who are trying to document and record excessive force and police brutality on their cell phones. Screw those people! Don't they know they're causing more harm than good?
Seriously, though, what a joke. I know it doesn't make for the good, fear-pandering drivel we all expect to see on local news, but why couldn't the Sheriff have let the reporter play out more normal police scenarios? For example, they could have had her file a shoplifting report at a Walmart, arrest a homeless person for standing on a median, or pull over a black person for having a busted tail light. Instead, we get to see her shoot blanks at Machine Gun Kelly.
Also, if police are going to have a "Media Academy" where they let reporters play out the dangerous, stressful and extremely uncommon situations members of law enforcement may occasionally face, I think the Black Live Matters folks and other activists should have a "Media Academy" where they let reporters simulate what it's like to be to be targeted and profiled based on the color of your skin, pulled over by a serial rapist, or shot in the back by a reserve deputy. I think that would be a lot more beneficial than this pile of propaganda that somehow made its way on TV.