The Baton Rouge Police Department actually thought it was a good idea to allow White cops to wear blackface and sell drugs to Black people.
The department’s practice of White cops in blackface was highlighted in a year book from 1993. A photo surfaced of Lt. Don Stone and retired police Captain Frankie Caruso wearing blackface and throwing up gang signs before going out and doing a sting operation to entrap poor blacks. Along with wearing blackface, Caruso wore a fake gold tooth and a baseball cap from the HBCU, Southern University.
Although there were Black police officers on staff at the department, officials at the department decided to use White cops for the operation.
The sting lasted about an hour and led to no arrest. Ten people were stopped during the sting, but all were low-level buyers who were seeking to purchase a small amount of crack cocaine. According to the Washington Post, a 50-year-old man attempted to trade food stamps for crack, and another person wanted to buy $20 worth of drugs. Each summons only led to a court appearance.
Instead doing actual work, the officers’ blackface stunt only added to humiliation of the Black communities that they were supposed to protect.
After the photos surfaced, the Baton Rouge Police Department finally decided to apologize.
“Blackface photographs are inappropriate and offensive,” police Chief Murphy Paul said in a statement. “They were inappropriate then and are inappropriate today.”
There will be no punishment for the officers involved.