A Black Texas police officer says he was reprimanded by his superiors after being told that his cornrow, braided hairstyle was unprofessional.
Dakari Davis, an officer with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Police Department, told WFAA that his colleagues “shouldn’t judge me based on my appearance,” adding that his co-workers “know my character, you know my heart.”
Davis told the news outlet that he was left confused following the remark, stating, “To say that a Black police officer who wears cornrows is unprofessional, what does that say about you and the way you view black people that wear cornrows?”
Davis joined the DART police force in 2019 and said he never thought his appearance, which he routinely wore in a braided style, would interfere with his job performance.
“There was a particular lieutenant who disagreed with that, and he felt that it was unprofessional for male police officers to wear cornrows and contacted the Chief of Police and eventually filed a formal complaint against my hairstyle,” Davis revealed.
In documents obtained by WFAA, Davis was ordered not to wear the braided hairstyle while in full uniform in July 2019. Several months later, Davis chose to wear the hairstyle while dressed fully in his uniform during a DART police officer awards ceremony. In November of that year, an internal affairs investigation was launched, and once again, Davis’s “braided or cornrows hairstyle” was deemed “unprofessional” and “unapproved.”
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SOURCE: Atlanta Black Star, Atahabih Germain