Outraged by the police-involved fatal shooting of a black man in Louisiana earlier this week, Ohio police officer Nakia Jones took to Facebook to express her frustrations with the actions of some of her peers.
In a video viewed more than nearly 3 million times, Jones said she repeatedly watched the cell phone video of 37-year-old Alton Sterling being shot by police before putting her comments online. Jones, who works with the Warrensville Heights Police Department, said the Louisiana footage made her want to quit her job on the force.
"They put us in this negative category when I'm saying to myself, 'I'm not that type of police officer,'" she said. "I know police officers like me who would give their life for other people. So I’m looking at it, and it tore me up because I got to see what you all see. If I wasn’t a police officer and I wasn’t on the inside, I would be saying, ‘Look at this racist stuff. Look at this.’ And it hurt me."
Videos showing Sterling shot while pinned the ground have sparked protests against police brutality.
Police said they responded to a report of a man being threatened by someone with a gun outside a Baton Rouge convenience store. While authorities said he was armed, a Sterling family attorney countered that at the moment he was pinned the video didn't appear to show him wielding a weapon or pulling one out, NBC News reported.
The U.S. Justice Department announced it will lead a civil rights investigation into the shooting, NBC News reported. Two officers involved in the shooting have been put on paid administrative leave amid the investigation.
Jones said in her seven-minute video that she joined the police in 1996 after living in East Cleveland. She joined to make a difference in peoples' lives and be a change in her community, she said. But she said she is disgusted that some officers are racist and abuse their position.
"I'm here because I wanted to make a difference," she said. "But how dare you stand next to me in the same uniform and murder somebody! How dare you! You ought to be ashamed of yourself! So, why don’t we just keep it real? If you’re that officer that knows good and well you’ve got a God complex, you’re afraid of people that don’t look like you, you have no business in that uniform! Take it off! If you’re afraid to go and talk to an African American female or a male, or a Mexican male or female because they’re not white like you, take the uniform off! You have no business being a police officer, because there’s many of us that would give our life for anybody! We took this oath and we meant it!"
Jones also expressed her condolences to the victim's family and said the black community needs to stand together.
“My heart goes out to that young man’s family, because if it was my son I don’t know what I would do," she said. "But to my brothers and sisters, my juvenile brothers and sisters, I am your keeper. Put them guns down, y’all. We’re killing each other. The reason why all this racist stuff keeps going on is because we’re divided. We’re killing each other, we’re not standing together."
The Warrensville Heights Police Department could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
According to a Gallup poll, last year public trust in the police dropped to its lowest point in 22 years, though confidence has since slightly increased.
One issue critics of law enforcement have raised is a reluctance from some officers to speak out against colleagues.
Peter Rosenberg, a radio host for New York's Hot 97 station, has also gained attention for his reponse to Sterling's shooting.
Rosenberg had been speaking with an unidentified police officer on his show Wednesday when the officer hesitated to respond after being asked about the incident.
"Can you say the words 'it looks bad?" Rosenberg asked. "I have to say this, this is the problem I have with police officers, no disrespect to you, ya'll don't ever want to point at someone else and say you cant do your job well. That's the reason the public thinks all of you are bad, because you wont ever call someone out and say they murdered someone in cold blood, it happened again."
"Until you guys start taking responsibility for your own, people in the street are going to be upset," he continued. "So how about ya'll lead the movement instead so instead of people rioting, police officers get out in front of it themselves and you guys are the first on the front lines."