As public discourse increasingly leans in favor of defunding the police, officers have attempted to make themselves victims in the fight against police brutality. In cities like Atlanta, officers have organized “sick outs” in response to officer Garrett Rolfe being charged with felony murder after shooting and killing Rayshard Brooks the night of June 12. Meanwhile, the irony of #McMuffinCop fearing for her life while having to do something as simple as wait for her order at McDonald’s is not lost on Black men and women who worry whether they’ll make it home alive while doing things as simple as walking down the street, driving their car, or playing in the park.
While not once have Black and brown people suggested all cops are bad, what we have asked for is accountability, unlike what we saw in the murder of George Floyd where officers stood by and even assisted Derek Chauvin in killing him. And when it comes to situations like that, all cops indeed have to be looked at as bad, according to Meagan Good, whose father was a member of the LAPD for more than two decades.
“I posted something a few weeks ago where I said something to the likes of ‘if you have 1,000 bad cops and you have 10 good ones, but the good ones don’t hold the 1,000 bad ones accountable, then you have 1,010 bad ones ‘ and that’s really how I feel,” the actress told us during a Zoom call. “I do believe that there are some good cops out there. However, if you fall in the realm of knowing what’s going on, seeing it firsthand, and not doing anything, I have a problem with that. However, I am realistic in understanding when cops speak out against other cops you are directly putting your life on the line. You can go into a drug bust and you can be the only one who doesn’t come out.”
Calling her dad “amazing” and an “incredible cop,” Good admitted she doesn’t know everything when it comes to the ins and outs of being a cop or even what defunding the police would really look like, but when it comes to the subject of accountability, on this she is sure.
“If you do not feel safe, but you know some stuff is wrong and you need to be accountable then quit. Find a different job. Do something different where you can look yourself in the mirror and you can have peace when you go to bed at night. If it affects you that way, which it should if you’re aware of it, then choose a different profession.”
The 38-year-old actress isn’t suggesting anything she wouldn’t do in her own field. When asked about the expectation for celebrities to immediately spring into action when social uprisings such as the one we’re currently seeing erupt, Good admitted there is an element of pressure “because you know you can’t ever quite get it right or say it right for everybody.” Regardless, if you have a platform, you have a responsibility to speak out, Good said.
“We’re allowed to be angry, we’re allowed to be upset but we do have to use our words in a way that’s not going to be divisive and a way that’s going to actually be helpful and bring about solutions, actionary items, things that are really proactive and productive in making a difference. Some people don’t take on that responsibility and I don’t judge them, however, I do feel it is my responsibility. ”
Sharing that she’s been told to be careful not to come off as “too radical” or “too Black” when speaking out, Good said, “livelihood is important — 1000 percent — but what we are in right now, you have to decide which side of this you want to be on. Even appearing indifferent, to me, is choosing the opposite side. If you have a platform, again, I don’t want to judge anyone else, but if that was given to you, it’s not for you to just have for the livelihood of your family or to protect yourselves, I think that we do have a responsibility to each other as human beings, and as Black human beings, and I think we all need to be out there. We all need to be saying something.”
We all need to be taking time to care for ourselves as well, which was Good’s focus during the Covid-19 pandemic. “In this particular business, you never know when your next job is coming so it is a literal faith walk every day, but a part of me was just like, I’m going to take this time to be with my husband. I’m just going to really enjoy him. I’m just going to take time to spend more time with God, to reflect, to say, ‘Dad, you’ve allowed these things to happen, I don’t understand it, but what am I supposed to be doing in this season?'”
One of the things she’s been doing is “a lot of self-internal work, dealing with some damage, things I really hadn’t had time to fully process.” Good has also been catching up with her girls which we witnessed during her episode of “Girlfriends Check In” which aired June 6 and June 12 on OWN. The basic premise of the show is for viewers to watch celebrity girlfriends as they check in with eachother during quarantine and catch up on life.
“Doing ‘Girlfriends Check-In’ was perfect because Tasha’s been a friend of mine forever, Grace has been a friend of mine for a few years but we’re already like sisters and the same with Tasha. My sister is just my heartbeat and so to be able to do this with them– we all so much needed it. We needed joy and time to spend together and connect and it was fun to be able to send them gifts and open them together and have this whole moment and really enjoy them as sisters. It’s just completely invaluable.”
In some ways, Good sees Covid as being invaluable as well, noting that the social climate laid the foundation for the civil rights movement unfolding before us.
“A part of me is feeling at peace and, as horrible as everything is that’s been going on, a part of me is thankful because the climate of Covid has allowed other people — not us because we’ve always been focused — but other people to focus in and really pay attention to what’s going on. I think a lot of other people who wouldn’t see it or pay attention, they have no choice now…
“I believe in huge part it’s timing. It’s God’s timing. Even just with covid, honestly, in a sad and horrible way, it’s been a blessing to get the type of movement and the type of traction we’re getting now. My heart does have some peace but it also has a lot of unrest. It also has a lot of pain…I am thankful for the season because it had to be this.”
Catch the next episode of “Girlfriends Check In” with Tisha Campbell, Kym Whitley, Holly Robinson Peete, and AJ Johnson on OWN this Saturday at 10 pm.