After explaining to a fellow officer the reason why he doesn't understand discrimination because he has benefited from “white privilege,” Carri Weber, a police captain was placed on paid administrative leave. It is reported that her future with the Indiana Plainfield police bureau is in limbo and will be decided by a vote that will take place during the commissioner’s meeting on December 7.
What Happened Between The Co-Workers
The incident between Weber and the officer happened during a training session on how police officers should interact with those who identify as transgender. The seminar was led and taught by a representative of the United States Department of Justice and United States government attorney. The incident between Weber and the officer happened during a training session on how police officers should interact with those who identify as transgender. The seminar was led and taught by a representative of the United States Department of Justice and United States government attorney. While the two presented, the officer (who also served in the department for 28 years) questioned a statistic that was featured in their work.
It claimed that transgender people are 3.32 times more likely to be victims of police brutality than those who identify with their gender with their biological sex reproductive system. “My wife has never been part of police violence. Most of the people that I know have never been, accused the police of violence. So I guess I don’t get where that statistic comes from,” the officer said to the representatives in audio obtained from the presentation. In response to his statement, Weber cited that the officer would never understand how police brutality happens because of his race and how he chooses to label his gender.
“Cause your white male privilege, so you wouldn’t know,” she was heard saying. “I’m sorry?” the veteran police officer asked her. “Your white male privilege,” Weber repeated for him. The police officer began to get annoyed and asked the police chief if he was going to let Weber “get away” with her commentary. “Seriously? I’m asking a legitimate question here, and I’m getting [unintelligible] white privilege?” the man said as his voice began to rise. “Are you serious? I find that extremely offensive.”
What Is White Privilege?
The police officer decided to file a complaint stating he was “racially and sexistly slurred” by Weber. “I am now firmly aware of the discriminatory belief she just verbally communicated. … There is no place in the Plainfield Police administration or supervision for someone who holds and espouses her discriminatory views.”
To be clear, stating someone has white or male privilege is not discriminatory. The two phrases were coined by activist Peggy McIntosh in 1988; McIntosh wrote in her scholarly work that the terminology references people who identify as “white," “male” or both have social advantages that those who identify as another race/ethnicity, woman or other genders do not.
Members of the Plainfield community and the internet have shown their support for Weber by writing to the police department via Facebook. In their comments, the supporters reprimand the department for placing Weber on leave. "I am very disappointed that you suspended Captain Weber. If anyone is suspended, it should be the officer claiming offense for insubordination and plain ignorance. She told him the right thing. His experience as a white police male is not relevant to the statistic about transgender violence or the experiences of others not like him. Do you not see the irony here? He turns to the chief to whine but doesn't understand how transgender people might be subjected to violence more than him and his wife? I would not call that officer for help if I was in Plainfield. I sure would want Captain Weber. That man's attitude contributes to unjustified police action against people of color and genders other than male," Lata Williams wrote.
Since the complaint was filed, Weber was placed on paid administrative leave on November 16.
View the video of Weber and the police officer's interaction, down below.