What is ACAB? Meaning explained as Ryan Carson's girlfriend, Claudia Morales comes under fire over viral pictures

Ryan Carson and Claudia Morales (Image via Amiri King/X)
Ryan Carson and Claudia Morales (Image via Amiri King/X)

The stabbing death of Brooklyn activist Ryan Carson in front of his girlfriend, Claudia Morales, has sparked a flurry of activity on social media, with people unearthing old posts where the latter was seen in pictures wearing an ACAB t-shirt in 2020 during the BLM movement.

Ryan Carson, who was fatally stabbed in an unprovoked attack early Monday morning on October 2, as he and his girlfriend were returning from a wedding on Long Island, was a poet and activist in New York. The incident caught on a surveillance video showed the moment the 32-year-old was stabbed in front of his girlfriend in Bedford-Stuyvesant at about 4 a.m. while the couple were waiting for a bus.

As the news of his death made national headlines, a volley of social media posts paid tribute to the environment activist who served as a campaign manager at the New York Public Interest Research Group, a non-partisan political organization, focusing on waste policy. Several others also supported Morales, who witnessed the terrible attack. Carson's friends even created a GoFundMe to render financial assistance to the grieving partner.

However, shortly after the internet came after Morales because of an old picture that showed her in a BLM riot wearing an ACAB T-Shirt in 2020 that surfaced online. The acronym ACAB, with a rich, controversial history, was quite prevalent during the BLM movement in 2020 when civilians marched in support of ending gratuitous police violence against African Americans following the death of George Floyd.

The term, which means All Cops are B*stards is a critique of the role of the police in society. The term ACAB is also known to generate antipathy toward cops.

While the acronym has carried a nuanced meaning since its inception in the 19th century, during the BLM movement the term divided the society as some viewed it as an expression of anti-authoritarian solidarity, while others saw it as an aggressive stance that caused more problems than solutions.


Image of Ryan Carson's girlfriend wearing ACAB t-shirt sparks outrage online

As Claudia Morales's picture wearing the ACAB t-shirt surfaced online, multiple social media users, including author Andy Ngo, Slammed her as a cop-hating BLM activist.

“Ryan Carson's girlfriend Claudia V. Morales is a cop-hating BLM activist. She was at a BLM riot in Boston in 2020, blaming police for violence when they tried to arrest rioters.”

Several others were also quick to critique Morales over her political stance in 2020.

However, some pointed out that Morales' association with ACAB did not justify the murder of her boyfriend.


Police identify suspect in Ryan Carson's murder

In the meantime, on Tuesday, New York police said they have identified a suspect in the fatal stabbing of a Brooklyn activist Ryan Carson. WABC reported police have not named the suspect but provided an image of him from the surveillance video, describing him as an 18-year-old enrolled in a learn-to-work program at a school in the Clinton Hill neighborhood.

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Edited by Anushree Madappa