Wrongfully Suspected,Could’ve been Wrongfully Killed:The Hunting Curse on Every Black Man in America
Updated: Jul 18, 2019
I would like to take a minute to recognize the life of a strong, courageous, and self-controlled African man.
Also a catholic man, he headed to my nondenominational church this morning, the Church of Redeemer, not because it was Palm Sunday but to thank God for having spared his life earlier this morning. Meanwhile, I remain secluded in my apartment, still petrified by the scary images of what could have been.
My mind, tormented with words of rage and tears of frustration from living in this country.
Around 4:00 am this morning, we both arrived from an African community event in Burtonsville, MD. We parked in front of my apartment building in downtown Crown, a Gaithersburg upscale residential area. We then continued our discussion about the future of our native country.
Few minutes into the conversation, we observe a Montgomery County police car making a U-turn from the opposite side of the street and comes parking right behind his Mercedes. Puzzled, we wonder why. So, my friend brings down his window as we await to hear the cause of our infringement.
Shockingly, away from the car, the police officer starts shouting:
- “Sir—GET OUT OF THE CAR!”
We are both confused. This is not the normal routine. The officer roared even louder,
- “OUT OF THE CAR, SIR!”
My friend unbuckles his seat belt and gets out as ordered. The police officer asks him to come around the back of the car and commands him to sit down on the pavement floor. His partner positions himself right behind my friend. The driver door still open, the officer walks back to me and gently tells me to sit tight, as if my friend was a danger to me.
In a blink of seconds, about 5 or 6 more police squads appear. They start patrolling the area, opening building doors, searching who knows what. Until now, no explanation of our infraction. I am terrified. Then a sentiment of guilty starts creeping in. He wouldn’t have been in this situation if I did not ask for a ride home.
I hear them questioning him, but I can’t discern the words except the part where they ask him if we both have been arguing. Then I see him pointing at my building, indicating to the officer that I live there. One male officer passes by my window, looks at me, and then breaks a smile like this was a walk in the park. Another one comes along and throws a “hello” hand gesture as if we were friends. I try to keep my eyes focused on my friend who is still sitting on the pavement like a vulgar beggar with his arms spread apart. I do not want to miss a second. I realize this gang of predominantly white male officers can kill him at any moment. Then, they can kill me as well to erase any evidence. I have seen it on TV, in the movies, and documentaries. My friend has no one to protect him. I cannot protect my African brother.
Useless, I feel but I decide to speak out few prayerful words in tongues. The police crew also have two white women officers and one light skin black officer who looks off the part. After few minutes, all of them join the two officers who are surveilling my friend. They all stand still in semi-circle behind him, some with smirk on their faces like they are about to devour a juicy piece of braised tenderloin. I keep looking. This could be IT- the last time I see my friend alive followed by the last minutes of my existence.
Soon after, I hear two officers ordering him to get up. My heart stops. Will they beat him? Will they hurt him? Will they handcuff him? – NO! They did not. They speak more words, then he is allowed back to the car. He sits down and closes the door.
I stare at him.
- “What the hell is going on?”, “What do they want?”, I shout mortified.
- “They said a woman living in the building called them and claimed that a man who works at the gas station has been waiting for her downstairs in a car.”, he responded.
Can someone explain how a man, accompanied by a female, will be sitting in his car with his emergency lights on knowing that they could attract the attention of anyone driving by, could be dangerous? Why then, did they not ask us both to get out if his car was the suspected one? In all objectivity, we will be both considered dangerous.
My friend is a member of an international organization senior management, a PhD holder in Economics, an elder in my community, a father, a brother, an uncle, a mentor to many, a homeowner, a black belt holder, and more importantly a man of after God’s own heart. He probably earns more that few of those officers combined. This 25-year-old looking officer yelling at him for no reason will not stand one round with him in a ring. But the officer is white, he has a uniform, and he has a gun. My friend is black.
In fact, no black man is safe in this country regardless of their social status or academic achievements. This is a country that was led by a black president for eight years, but it has been incapable to cross the mountain of racism, especially towards our black men.
In the car, my friend and I are still trying to absorb what just happened when an older police officer knocks at his window and says:
- “All right Sir, you were just at the wrong place, at the wrong time” Really!? being parked in front of my building is qualified as being at the wrong place.
I look at the officer and ask him if such treatment was necessary. No man should be treated like a criminal until proven guilty. I could not take it anymore. The stress has taken its toll and I break down in tears. This institution that claims to provide protection for its community regardless of their skin color, gender, or origin, is hypocrite. Throughout their show, they acted like they were protecting me; I assume because I am a woman, but at no time when I was tearing up that the officer even asked if I was OK. He could give a shit.
My friend continued talking to the officer who seems not to understand the consequences of their actions on people’s mental state. I had enough of hearing his voice, so I asked my friend in French to stop talking to him because they are just broad daylight assassins and racists. The officer looked frustrated as if we have disturbed his precious night, then walked away throwing, twice, an unemphatic “You guys have a good night!”. He never even apologized for their error. Basically, his body language said “You guys deal with it. We are not sorry to have put this negro on the ground where he belongs.”
They all immediately left the area after that exchange. I guess the search for the real criminal was complete. My night has a “happy” ending.
A black man has physically survived in the hands of a predominantly white police force. I do realize this is amazing grace. We are controlled by a group of outlaws, thirsty for any black blood they can find on the street. Many black families in this country don’t ever get to know what truly happened to their loved ones who were wrongfully killed by the police. I regret not to have filmed the scene, but it did not even cross my mind. Yet, I keep thinking they would have probably opened fire on me right there and then if they have also mistaken my android for a gun. There are millions of stories like ours that do not make it on video nor will they be written.
To the African American community, my friend and I experienced today what you endure every day; the evil and merciless treatment by the police. Africans and African Americans should really work together because racial profiling is alive and well and aims to destroy both communities. So, we owe it to our race to watch for one another.
How can a black woman survive in this country if all the black men around her are constantly harassed, disrespected, humiliated, and wrongly killed by the same institution that avers to protect her.
Black women, more than ever, we must become our men’s protectors. Every black woman should pray, intercede, love, forgive, support, honor, and respect the black men in her life, especially the good ones for this American system is set to either erase each one of them from the moment they are born or steal them from us.
Ironically, my native country's mascot is a panther. This gang of police officers did not realize that no one can take a black panther down except God Himself.
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