George Floyd protests: Jameela Jamil underlines the big problem with that “not all cops” line

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Kayleigh Dray
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Jameela Jamil on the red carpet

Taking to Twitter to call for justice in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of a white police officer, Jameela Jamil has said that she is sick of celebrities “gaslighting” people over police brutality.

George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Monday 25 May in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on the handcuffed man’s neck for at least eight minutes.

The disturbing video has sparked outrage across the world, with many joining protests throughout the USA. On social media, too, many are calling for justice, telling people to take a stand against systemic racism. And this has resulted in a number of heated debates, with several high-profile individuals using their platform to insist that “not all cops” are bad.

Now, in response to this rhetoric, Jameela Jamil has tweeted: “All the celebrities gaslighting people about police brutality, favoring the vast minority of ‘good cop’ interactions with black people in this cop-driven blood bath… stop accusing the media of twisting the narrative when these real life videos exist in the VAST majority. Damn.”

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Jamil added: “Until we see appropriate justice served to the MURDERING, abusive bad cops, I just don’t feel like hearing about the good cops.

“Put your energy and influence in getting the officers who we have clear proof of hurting/killing black people put behind bars… then we can #notallcops.”

Explaining her stance further via an Instagram post, Jamil continued: “White celebrities think the best of cops because their interactions have been mostly, if not entirely positive, fair and safe.

“So when they post about the few good cop stories, and blaming the media for negative portrayal, they don’t know they are complicit in accidentally gaslighting those standing outside this week, risking their lives to fight for justice.”

She added: “Black people haven’t been convinced by the media that there is an institutional racism problem In the police, they have each encountered, either personally or via a loved one, police brutality, abuse, harassment or undue suspicion.”

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Jamil’s post has been welcomed by many on Twitter, with thousands ‘liking’ her post and retweeting it into their own feeds.

“Thank you for saying this,” wrote one.

Another added: “Thank you Jameela!!! This movement isn’t about reminding people about good cops out there. It’s about the bad cops and the murders and atrocities committed by them when placed in a position of trust. Thank you for highlighting the REAL focus!”

And still one more said: “Being a good cop is like doing nothing more than your obligation. So this is not about them… if you’re a good cop, you have nothing to worry about.”

However, some others did not agree with her and insisted that it is necessary to ‘publicise’ the behaviour of ‘good cops’.

“The US is at a crossroads,” wrote one such critic. “Dismissing good cop behavior only leads to more division, violence, and hate. Publicising good cop behavior shows good cops that our fight isn’t with them and may give a good cop the strength to stand up to a racist cop, which might just save a life.”

To paraphrase what we’ve said before, though, it’s worth remembering that saying “not all cops” doesn’t add to the discussion or develop it in any way. All it does is derail and dismiss someone else’s lived experiences. Talk less, listen more, and learn how to be a better ally in the fight against racism here.

How to support Justice for George Floyd:

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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