Who knew an interaction with a police officer and a group of Black people could end in a refreshing discussion and not violence.
A group of people who were all a part of the Black Youth Project 100, a youth-centered black activist group, were recently pulled over by the police. The group had just left an event on Princeton’s campus and the (Black) officer who stopped them, told them they had a taillight out. Upon inspection, they realized they didn’t.
After the officer followed them to their Nassau Hotel, the group expressed that they felt racially profiled. The officer insisted that he wasn’t trying to criminalize the Black youths and said that his feelings were hurt at the accusation. The officer offered the young people free parking as an apology, which ended up sparking a healthy conversation about racial profiling and justice.
In the above video, you can see the group of students chatting with the officer about why his actions were interpreted as racial profiling and why said actions hurt them. “You guys have a responsibility to protect and serve,” 24-year-old Devin Darrington-Ward can be heard telling the officer. “As Black youth we don’t feel like we get that level of protection; we don’t get that benefit of the doubt … like regular White students running around Princeton campus [do].”
Police brutality is a horrific trend that plagues Black youth more than any other demographic. According to reports, police officers, security guards, or self-appointed vigilantes killed at least 313 African-Americans in 2012 according to a recent study. This means a Black person was killed every 28 hours. The frequency of these incidents against our Black youth make this a far-too-common occurrence almost expected, so when this video surfaced, I was not only shocked, but my faith in humanity was renewed just a tiny bit.