TikTok police prank sparks discussion about racial privilege

Ellie Abraham@ellieabraham
Monday 10 May 2021 13:31
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A TikToker who posted a video of himself jokingly telling a police officer there was a dead body in his car has sparked a discussion about white privilege.

The TikTok was posted as part of a trend where users look back at some of their past embarrassing moments.

TikTok user @lemonbrothers, whose real name is Riley Lemon, posted the video captioned “Pro Tip #1 : Don’t tell a cop you have a dead body in the back of your car as a joke”, which has had over 5.5 million views.

In the video recorded on the man’s phone, Lemon can be seen talking to a police officer through his car window as he has been pulled over.

The officer asks, “Do you have any idea why I pulled you over?” Lemon replies, “Uh, is it cos you think I’m cute or the dead body in the back of my car?” The officer then asks him to step out of the car and the man grabs his phone to bring with him.

This happened in the United States where, for people of colour, routine traffic stops have at times tragically become fatal at the hands of the police.

This interaction in this video between a white man and a police officer sparked discussion in the comments section around race, privilege and how this seemingly harmless joke may have turned out differently had he not been white.

One user wrote: “Warning: Results may vary depending on skin colour”. Another comment read, “What in the white privilege”.

Another person commented on the way he was able to reach for his phone, saying if it were a non-white person, “grabbing that camera real quick would have ended real differently”. Multiple users implied something similar. Someone else said, “Imagine grabbing the phone while Black”.

It was meant to be a funny video but, speaking to the Daily Dot, Lemon said: “Although it was not intentional, any video that gets a conversation going about relevant topics is a success in my opinion.”

Hopefully, it’s helped shed light on racial inequality and got more people thinking.

You can watch the full video here.

More: The tweet that made me think of the realities of racial insensitivity in the guise of jokes

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