Krista Vernoff, best known as the writer in charge of the long-running medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, wrote a long Twitter thread about law enforcement in America in which she brought to light that white privilege is why she has no criminal record despite committing many crimes in her life.
“When I was 15, I was chased through a mall by police who were yelling ‘Stop thief!’ I had thousands of dollars of stolen merchandise on me. I was caught, booked, sentenced to 6 months of probation, required to see a parole officer weekly. I was never even handcuffed,” she began the thread on Monday.
“When I was 18, I was pulled over for drunk driving. When the Police Officer asked me to blow into the breathalyzer, I pretended to have asthma and insisted I couldn’t blow hard enough to get a reading,” Vernoff continued. “The officer laughed then asked my friends to blow and when one of them came up sober enough to drive, he let me move to the passenger seat of my car and go home with just a verbal warning.”
She admitted to other crimes including punching a man in front of a cop and encounters where she was “chased and/or admonished by police on several occasions for drinking or doing illegal drugs on private property or in public.”
Vernoff, 46, is the latest Hollywood figure to take a stand against police brutility.
Screenwriter Krista Vernoff poses for portrait at the Women in Entertainment and The Television Academy Foundation’s Inaugural Women in Television Summit at Saban Media Center on May 21, 2018 in North Hollywood, California. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
“Defunding the police is not about ‘living in a lawless society,” she wrote. “It’s about the fact that in this country, we’re not supposed to get shot by police for getting drunk.”
Supporters say the “defund the police” movement isn’t about eliminating police departments or stripping agencies of all of their money. They say it is time for the country to address systemic problems in policing in America and spend more on what communities across the U.S. need, like housing and education.
State and local governments spent $115 billion on policing in 2017, according to data compiled by the Urban Institute.
Vernoff ended her thread saying: “The system that lets me live and murders Rayshard Brooks is a broken system that must change. Stop defending it. Demand the change. #BlackLivesMatter #WhitePrivilege #DefundPolice.”
Footage from body and dash-mounted cameras show Brooks chatted cooperatively with the two white officers, saying he’d had a couple of drinks to celebrate his daughter’s birthday and agreeing to a breath test.
The 27-year-old black man appears to pull away as the officers start putting him in handcuffs. Both officers’ body cameras were knocked to the ground in the ensuing struggle over a Taser. It was footage released from a security camera that ultimately captured an officer fatally shooting Brooks in the back. The officer who pulled the trigger was fired; the other one is on leave, and the police chief resigned.
Nationwide, police departments have rushed to ramp up the use of body cameras, which have been hailed as a potential equalizer that would show the unvarnished truth of an encounter with officers.