The other day a veteran LAPD officer fired a “shot” that was heard around the world. In the midst of the nation watching and waiting for justice surrounding the shooting of unarmed Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown Jr., the officer wrote a controversial column.
What he should have added to his rant was… especially if you’re African-American or any person of Sunil’s color.
This officer lays it out in the context that all is fair in the methods used to stop, address and command people who are doing something wrong.
If you’re a citizen who can be reasonably sure that the only time you will be stopped by law enforcement is when you’re committing an offense, then Officer Dutta’s words make perfect sense. But we know for a fact that African-Americans, especially African-American males are profiled, harassed, belittled and embarrassed by policemen far more than non-African Americans.
Far too many of us all over the country have stories about being mistreated by overly aggressive cops and just based on what I hear Los Angeles police are notorious for it.
It’s common place for black men to be handcuffed or made to sit on the curb for simple traffic infractions while police leisurely run their plates to find out if there’s anything they can take them in for.
One member of my staff and her husband were on their way to dinner and stopped by police who thought they fit the description of two armed robbery suspects. In front of the restaurant they were told to exit their car with their hands up. As their bodies were searched for weapons, four policemen had guns drawn.
In the meantime, several other policemen called to the scene searched their vehicle. The couple stood with their hands on the building next door to where they planned to have date night for about 10 minutes until the cops discovered they had the wrong people.