Racial Profiling: The use of race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed an offense.
You never want to get that phone call and it’s one of your children, in this case my seventeen year old African American son telling me that he’s been detained by the Durham police and that he did NOTHING wrong! It was Friday around 4:10 pm and my son had just been dismissed from school at 3:45 pm. He met up with five of his friends so that they could walk to the mall before heading to an after school event that they had planned to attend. They were no more than three blocks away from school when a police car ran up on them and pulled their guns telling them to get on the “effing ground” don’t “effing move” don’t “effing talk” get on the ground face down! The boys tried to inquire “What did I do?” and were told NOT to “effing” talk! AND… went further to say WE WILL SHOOT! There were two Caucasian policemen. The boys were unarmed and didn’t resist the cops. They were then handcuffed and put in squad cars after back up was called. There were at least nine squad cars on the scene at this point. The boys were asked for their information, where they lived and parents numbers etc. (I still haven’t received a call from the Durham Police Department).
It wasn’t until after the boys were handcuffed, gave their personal information and in the back of squad cars that the police told them what they were being detained for. A group of teenagers had broken into a house in the neighborhood nearby and they fit the description. They had received a call and allegedly these boys in question were black and wearing the same attire as my son and his friends. The boys were detained for about an hour and a half, and it wasn’t until eyewitnesses came to the scene to identify them that they were released because… (Exact Words!) THEY WEREN’T THE GUYS! “THAT’S NOT THEM!” There were at least nine Caucasian cops at this time and upon the boys release with no apology for falsely accusing and detaining them said… “Go back to what you were doing!” Um… I was and still am LIVID! My son cracked his cell phone screen when they pulled the guns on them telling them to get down on the ground, he asked after they were released if they would fix his phone and they said no, but they will put it in the report that I have yet to receive a copy of. I’m not concerned about my sons phone as much as he is. It was brand new and he’d hadn’t even had it a week. It’s replaceable, his life is not!
The boys were NOT given a copy of the report. They didn’t memorize badge numbers or names due to being scared at gunpoint and shocked by the whole situation. They were minding their own business and hadn’t even been out of school a good thirty minutes! I try to raise my children to be aware of what’s going on around them at all times, be respectful, learn to co-exist in today’s society and know when to walk away. I’m really saddened that my son and his friends had to endure this experience. It scared them and made them think about their lives and what could have gone wrong in this situation. I am happy that there were eye witnesses to clear them. I’m sure that there were tons of kids in the neighborhood in groups because school had just dismissed and I hate to chalk it up to being in the wrong place at the wrong time but, I will use it at a learning experience and pray it doesn’t happen again. To the police department ALL young black males aren’t criminals regardless of what they may be wearing. You were in the vicinity of a High School right after dismissal and you grabbed the first black boys that you saw that fit your description!
These boys go to one of the best High Schools in North Carolina, strive to do their best and are Sophomore and Juniors in High School with no previous criminal records. They are focused on making the best of their teen years and getting ready for graduation and the next chapter of their lives. I’m all for #BlackLivesMatter BUT… #AllLivesMatter and I hope that things get better in our society especially for our young black males. I have a seven year old son too and I am just as concerned about him as my seventeen year old. I struggled with whether or not to write this post, but in the end, if I don’t talk about it… who will?!?! Stop Racial Profiling! As a parent what would you do?