A pro-Trump African-American police officer, who was heavily criticized after making a viral video speaking out against the NFL national anthem protesters, will now be able to express his views regarding that issue and many others full time.
Brandon Tatum, who until this week was an officer with the police department in Tucson, Arizona, has made several viral videos on multiple subjects over the last year. One he created last month taking NFL football players to task for kneeling during the national anthem became his most viewed videos to date.
“You play a game. This is fairy-tale world,” Tatum, who played football for the University of Arizona, said in the video. “You suit up, you lose, you go home. You cry, you play another game. In the real world, real heroes, when they lose games they don’t come back.”
“The people who die for that flag, it ain’t a game. That’s real life. That’s real sacrifice,” he added.
The video struck a nerve. It has been viewed over 600,000 times on Tatum’s YouTube channel alone and millions of times across the web.
The video also led to multiple appearances on Fox News a few weeks ago.
The then-police officer was asked on Fox & Friends whether President Donald Trump was creating further division in the country by highlighting the controversy through his tweets and public statements.
“I don’t think the president is being divisive,” Tatum said. “I think the fact that you take a knee on the flag, you’re starting division right there. And I think the president is trying to bring things back around.”
“These individuals or a person like Colin Kaepernick he wants to be treated as a fair individual,” Tatum further observed. “He doesn’t want to be prejudged. He don’t want people to look at him and stereotype him and I think he should give the same respect to law enforcement.”
Following the success of Tatum’s video and his appearance on multiple media outlets, Tim Steller, a reporter with Tucson’s local paper, The Arizona Republic, wrote a piece suggesting the officer was breaking police regulations.
In an article titled, “Tucson police officer Pushes boundaries with viral rants,” Steller contended there are boundaries police are not supposed to cross.
“The department has a 2½ page guideline in their general orders explaining how employees may use social media like YouTube in their private lives,” he wrote.
Steller continued, “Among the prohibited postings: ‘Any act or statement, or any other form of speech that ridicules, maligns, disparages, or otherwise indicates bias against any race, religion, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, familial status, marital status or other protected status.’”
Steller’s argument appears to be that through his rants, the African-American police officer was maligning fellow African-Americans because of their race.
But as Rachel Alexander observed on Townhall, “Tatum’s video doesn’t discriminate against anyone, it merely discusses why kneeling during the anthem is disrespectful and an inappropriate way to protest.”
Tatum will not have to worry whether he is crossing a police officer guideline in his new position as a special contributor with the political opinion site Conservative Tribune.
Tatum said he is excited to start with the outlet at the end of the month, explaining it will give him a great place from which to engage in the public dialogue.
“It’s probably the most exciting portion of my life is my transition to Liftable (the parent company of Conservative Tribune and Western Journalism),” Tatum told WJ. “This is a new chapter in my life, and I’m so excited.”
“My life has been around critical thinking. And I love communicating through speech,” he added.
The 30-year-old served as the official spokesman for the Tucson Police Department, as well as a member of its SWAT team and instructor at its police academy.
“Learning how to love people and to understand people and to speak life into people in their worst moments, it really helped me to develop as a person to be a better communicator,” said Tatum regarding his over six years serving on the force.
The topics Tatum has focused on in his viral videos are right up CT’s alley. They include political sports protests, the anti-police narrative, Trump, gun control and the radical left.
CT site director Josh Manning knows Tatum’s life experiences have shaped him into a man who can connect with people.
“The thing with Brandon is his authenticity. He’s an everyday kind of guy,” Manning said.
He added, “You can see from how quickly his audience has grown. The public thinks he’s just incredibly insightful.”
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