Arguing While Black

Getting hit by a police car isn’t justifiable

Published in
5 min readSep 1, 2020


Photo courtesy of the author

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):