WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — A black police officer in suburban Cleveland said in a video posted on Facebook she was so upset after watching the fatal police shooting of a black man in Louisiana that she wanted to quit.
Nakia Jones, who said she is the only black female officer in Warrensville Heights, said she became an officer to make a difference in people’s lives.
“If you are white and you’re working in a black community and you are racist, you need to be ashamed of yourself,” Jones said in the video. “You stood up there and took an oath. If this is not where you want to work, then you need to take your behind somewhere else.”
Her impassioned reaction had been watched more than 3 million times since it was posted to her Facebook page Wednesday.
In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Alton Sterling was shot early Tuesday as he wrestled with two white police officers outside a convenience store. Police there say he was armed.
Cellphone video of his shooting death posted online by a community activist set off angry protests. It was unclear whether Sterling had the gun in his hand or was reaching for it when he was shot.
Louisiana’s governor, Democrat John Bel Edwards, asked the U.S. Department of Justice to lead a civil rights investigation into the killing.
Jones said the video of the shooting opened her eyes.
“I got to see what you all see,” she said. “If I wasn’t a police officer and I wasn’t on the inside, I’d be saying, ‘Look at this racist.'”
In a press conference Thursday, she said her opinion is the shooting of Sterling “could have been handled differently” and people should be held accountable for their actions.
“Sometimes our peers have to hold us accountable,” she said.
And she reiterated her position that there’s no place for racist police officers, black or white, in U.S. communities.
“If you are prejudiced,” she said, “take the uniform off, put the hood on.”