The Scary Result of a Black Man Arguing With a Cop
The son of a friend of our family, Christopher, is Black. A couple of nights ago, his car was hit while he was driving it. The police arrived and determined that Christopher’s car had to be towed. They also determined it was important to give our friend’s son a citation because he was driving with an out-of-state license. When it rains, it — well, just wait.
As the car was about to be towed, Christopher realized that all of his personal papers — birth certificate, identification, everything — were sitting in the car as were his shoes. So he asked whether he could grab them before they took the car away. They refused to allow him to get his stuff, so he asked them to get it. They refused again; he could get his stuff from the car at the tow lot, they said. Never mind that he wouldn’t be allowed access to the car without the documents left in the car.
Listen to the exchange here. (For reasons I don’t yet understand, all of his calls are recorded as they are made — luckily, at least, in this context):
In the course of the 10-minute exchange, you can hear Christopher pleading with the police to get his documents. You can hear the absurd response. You can hear his rightful indignation at the absurdity of the idea — it would have taken nothing for the cop to grab the papers. And you’ll hear him reflect on exactly how this incident shows why so many Black people are so furious with the police.
Christopher isn’t a White middle-aged man. And the color of his skin entitles him not to respect but to a “fuck you.”
As I listened to his anger, I recognized it. If I were faced with the same absurdity, I would have reacted in exactly the same way. The difference is how the cops would have reacted to me. As a White man in my fifties, if I were about to have my car towed with all my most important documents sitting…