Police say a white man created a fake black face in an odd attempt evade the authorities. Apparently, Jose Espinoza thought that mimicking blackface with spray paint qualified as “camouflage.”
In a related report by the Inquisitr, black students were upset when white students at a so-called “white party” dressed up in supposed Ku Klux Klan costumes, but the local police think it’s simply a misunderstanding.
This past Sunday, the City of Madera Police Department say they suspected Jose Espinoza of being a car thief. The 23-year-old man fled from law enforcement officers after being caught with a stolen vehicle on Saturday night. When they caught up with the man later at his home, police say Espinoza had tried using spray paint to fake a black face in order to camouflage himself.
“The camouflage was ineffective,” police wryly noted on the Police Department’s Facebook page.
The usage of blackface, which is makeup intended to paint skin a darker tone, initially gained popularity during the 19th century in order for white performers to represent a black person. This practice led to negative stereotypes associated with black people in general.
Due to this history, blackface is considered inherently racist by some people. For example, actress Julianne Hough was criticized for wearing blackface during a Halloween party in order to portray a character played by Uzo Aduba from the show Orange is the New Black. Even the historical basis of blackface can be a touchy subject, since a teacher was suspended for simply showing students a video where whites used blackface.
Preliminary research shows that this is the first time anyone has attempted camouflaging themselves as a black man in order to escape police undetected. In the past, white robbers have used blackface in order to disguise themselves during the robbery.
The City of Madera Police Department says Jose Espinoza was booked into Madera County Jail early Sunday, and the black spray paint is being used as evidence in his pending court case. According to KTLA, Madera County inmate records show he has been charged with receiving known stolen property, and theft and unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle. The alleged car thief’s bail has been set at $35,000, although it is unknown whether or not he currently has a lawyer.