Virginia sheriff’s deputy Jean Browning dressed as Rep. Frederica Wilson on Halloween and says she didn’t realize that her costume would offend people because she didn’t know blackface was something white people should steer clear of.
“There were people in our office who did not know what blackface was,” York-Poquoson Sherriff Communications Officer Shelly Ward stated.
“Personally, I did not,” she went on. “I had to Google it.”
Browning wore the costume to a Halloween party in October along with her boyfriend who went as President Trump.
Wilson has garnered attention lately for speaking out against Trump for treating the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, one of four U.S. soldiers recently killed in Niger, with disrespect and making her cry. John Kelly, she attacked for making up lies about her that he used to try and discredit her statements on the matter.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 17, 2017
The local NAACP chapter has issued a complaint about the blackface which prompted York-Poquoson Sheriff Danny Diggs to call a press conference.
He announced that Browning would now be assigned as a courtroom officer which will force her to leave her years-long position as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program coordinator for York County schools.
“One of DARE’s central missions is establishing positive relationships between students and law enforcement,” Diggs posted on Facebook. “Deputy Browning’s conduct expressly contradicts DARE’s goal by mocking members of the York County community and school division.”
Further action against Browning will not be taken as Diggs said the woman did not intend to offend anyone with her costume.
“The combined intent of the couple was to convey the message of how funny it would be for two political figures who were at odds with each other to go to a party together,” Diggs said to reporters. “There was no attempt to either mock or degrade [Congresswoman Frederica] Wilson or [President Donald] Trump.”
— WHNT (@whnt) November 17, 2017