The same cop who shot and killed a 21-year-old Black man who wore dreadlocks had a lot to say about the nefarious connection between drugs and Bob Marley music.
Corporal Matthew Schauerhamer of Saratoga Springs, Utah, is one of the two police officers who were involved in the shooting and killing of Darrien Hunt, which took place last week. The police claimed they shot Hunt as he lunged at them with a samurai sword. The Prosecutor initially backed up the claim but has since stated that Hunt was actually dozens of yards away when he was shot multiple times and killed. An independent autopsy and witnesses corroborate not only that Hunt was far away from police, but that he was running away and shot from behind.
It has been revealed by The Guardian that in June of this year Schauerhamer, 32, had written an article in the local newspaper offering parents tips on how to figure out if their kids are into drugs:
If parents are able to familiarize themselves with the specific trends of drug culture, they will be more likely to recognize if their child is descending into the culture and subcultures that drug users associate with. It will be easier for parents to distinguish whether their child is using or associating with people who use drugs.
According to Schauerhamer’s helpful guide, which was published in a local newspaper in June, one of the gate-way subcultures into drugs is “Rasta” culture.
if your child is listening to Bob Marley’s “Kaya” is wearing a Bob Marley shirt with Bob Marley on it smoking a joint, has a Bob Marley poster in his room, and is wearing a Rasta hat (red, yellow and green), it is highly likely your child is highly high. If they have Rasta colored anything, it is a good bet your child uses or hangs out with drug users.
Nor does the officer shy away from overstating the allegedly indestructible link between style and criminality. He actually writes that,
the spade associated with this [SRH] clothing brand is so mainstreamed now that simply wearing it makes you a walking billboard proclaiming to the police, ‘I use drugs! Arrest me now!’
In all fairness, Schauerhamer does not mention dreadlocks as a telltale trait of Rasta culture or drug culture. But, given that Bob Marley had dreadlocks (as does Lil Wayne, a rapper Schauerhamer calls a drug addict) and that dreads are certainly part of Rasta culture, one can assume that Hunt’s hair style would provoke suspicion from Schauerhamer. Certainly, Hunt already stood out in Saratoga Springs, a wealthy community 30 minutes south of Salt Lake City, where less than 5% of the population is non-white. Hunt’s mother, who is white, stated, “They killed my son because he’s black. No white boy with a little sword would they shoot while he’s running away.”
Even better than a generalizing, prejudiced, and biased police officer, is a generalizing, prejudiced, biased and trigger happy police officer. And Schauerhamer, who described himself as “a very polarizing person,” advocated arming school teachers after the Sandy Hook massacre:
Though it may sound cliché, the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun…. In a time when many are calling for disarmament, now may be time to call to arms.