Before I moved out of my mother’s house for the final time, I spent a lot of time outdoors being the adventurous adolescent that I was (and still am).
My friends and I typically spent a lot of time around a particular park, and every so often I would see my older brother wandering through and he’d pause to talk, wave, etc.
At the time of the incident, he had violated his probation by missing a few meetings and the like, so a warrant for his arrest was issued that day. Like usual, he stopped by where I was spending time at and played a bit of football with us. We discussed how the rumor was that a warrant was issued, and as we were laughing at the foolishness of my brother, a police car drove past. We froze and watched it and suddenly it whipped around and drove up to the curb, the officer jumping out and drawing his gun.
No one likes guns. They tend to carry bullets.
Following a self-preservation instinct, my brother dipped, and the rest of us made ourselves scarce as the police officer took off after my brother.
I regrouped at my mother’s house a few minutes later, decently shaken and explained to her what had happened. She scowled and less than 5 minutes later, 2 police vehicles show up at her house and 4 officers climbed out (all white) demanding to know what had happened.
An officer dragged me to the side of the yard and requested to see my ID. He then harassed me about where my brother went. I repeatedly told him I had no idea, and that I couldn’t help him. The officer was yelling at that point, threatening to get me fired from my job and removed from my position within the military for withholding information/aiding and abetting a criminal.
He asked me why I left the scene, and I explained to him that I had no intentions of getting shot. The officer’s face flushed and he started threatening me again.
My mother had just gotten done speaking to the other officers and letting them know calmly that if they desired to search any of the property they were welcome to get a search warrant. Until then they were to vacate the property immediately.
As she came over to speak with the fourth officer and relay her information, she noticed my expression and demanded the officer leave, then ushering me inside to hear about what he had said.
Infuriated, she called the Chief of Police several times, as well as filing a formal complaint after finding out what that officer’s name was.
The week after the incident, the Chief of Police along with a DIFFERENT officer, one which the chief had claimed to be at my mother’s house speaking to me showed up for an “apology” in which they stated that the incident had never happened and her complaint would not be filed.
People of Color have a lot to fear from the police. We are not protected by them. We cannot expect fair and equal treatment. We cannot take our problems to them and expect them to be solved.
When you say “well you should have told the police” to a POC who has been a victim of violence, harrassment, etc, your privilege is showing.
We, more often than not, do not have that luxury.