Featured, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

A Story About Charles Kinsey, My New (White) Neighbors, And The Racial Politics Of Calling The Police

I live in a two story loft that sits above a coffee shop on one of Pittsburgh’s busy intersections. It also exists directly across the street from a park, within walking distance of several restaurants, and a few blocks away from a hospital. Naturally, the neighborhood gets quite a bit of foot traffic during the day. Teenagers headed to school or downtown, kids going to summer camp, nurses on their lunch breaks, men and women walking their dogs and/or jogging; between 8am and 6pm during the week there are rarely any quiet moments. It’s also one of the few neighborhoods in the city — perhaps the only neighborhood in the city — where you’ll see an equal amount of Black and White people. While it’s far from cosmopolitan, it’s definitely truly diverse.

Adding to this diversity is a homeless shelter that sits a block away from my building. In fact, on a given day, I’d estimate that 10 to 20 percent of the people walking through this neighborhood are somehow connected to the shelter. Some live there, some lived there and still hang around because their friends live there, and some don’t live there but hang around the neighborhood because of the numerous food trucks and food banks and other charitable entities that provide food for the residents. And some just hang around because they don’t have anywhere else to go. A couple of them hang out in the coffee shop all day long; playing chess, reading the newspaper, and escaping the heat or the rain or the cold.

We’ve lived here for a year. And while the shelter definitely attracts some very colorful characters — and my wife and I are each asked for money (or a “ride downtown” or a bottle of water) at least once a week — we’ve never once felt in any type of danger. Partially because we’re both from similar types of inner-city neighborhoods and possess a certain level of learned street smarts. But mostly because these are not dangerous people. They’re mostly just people who happen to be going through some hard times.

Our building has two two-story loft units. Two weeks ago, a new couple moved into the second one. (A man and a woman.) They look to be in their late 20s or early 30s, they seem to be nice people, and they’re White. And although they’ve been here less than a month, they’ve already called the police on one of the homeless people loitering near the coffee shop. Which drew several cops to our shared ground-level door. And still, a week later, annoys the fuck out of me.

Admittedly, I’m still not sure exactly what happened. I haven’t had a chance to ask the woman. (Who apparently was the one who called them.) Perhaps there was some sort of altercation. Maybe one of the men said something inappropriate or obscene to her. Again, I don’t know what happened.

I just know that we’ve been here a year and nothing worth calling the police about has happened to us. Actually, let me rephrase that. Nothing we believed was worth calling the police about has happened to us. And I can’t help but wonder if this is some sort of synopsis on the differences between how Black and White people (generally) regard the police.

At the time of writing, Charles Kinsey — a Miami-area therapist who works with people with disabilities — is Twitter’s top trending topic and will likely be for much of the day. He is in the news because of a clip showing Kinsey — who was unarmed, had his hands up, and was helping an autistic patient (a patient “armed” with a toy truck) — getting shot three times by a police officer. If you haven’t seen it yet, the best two word phrase to summarize that footage would be “fucking absurd.” Although “fucking ridiculous” would work too. (And maybe, for Kinsey’s sake, “fucking lucrative” can fit, because I hope he wins a trillion dollar settlement.)

Ultimately, this footage will just be another potent ingredient added to the melange of fuckshit that results in the collective lack of confidence Black people (generally) have in regards to the police. While I do not believe that (most) Black people consider the police to be a net negative entity, I do believe that (most) Black people are loathe to involve the police in anything. Not because of any type of cliched collective anti-snitching edict. But because I just don’t think we generally believe they’ll make situations better. While the police are supposed to deescalate, their very real potential to make things much, much worse — and the very real evidence of that happening quite frequently — creates a reluctance to engage them. Personally, unless my shit is broken into/stolen or I believe someone’s life is in danger, I’m not going to involve the police. I’ve been alive for 37 years and I’ve made tens of thousands of phone calls. 911, however, has never been one of them.

I also can’t help but wonder if people like my neighbor have too much confidence in the police; ultimately treating them like summer camp counselors you tattle to if Tommy stole your orange juice. Again, I must stress that I don’t know what happened that prompted her to call. But I am certain it wasn’t a life or death type of scenario. But by involving the police and inviting them to a block where several “sketchy” Black people — including me if I happened to out because what qualifies as “sketchy Black person” is arbitrary and often just determined by “Is he a Black person?” — happened to be, she could have made it one.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Brandon Allen

    Living under the tyranny of these cops’ imagination is too taxing. I really hope no lip service excuse comes next.

    • Lip service is apart of the dog & pony show. It will happen.

    • Okitech623

      Too late. Cop says (through his union rep) he was trying to shoot the autistic man who he felt was a threat (that’s his get out of jail free card) and hit Mr. Kinsey by mistake.

  • PriceIsRightHorns

    No matter what we do to comply, f*ckery ensues.

    When Mr. Kinsey asked the cop why he shot, him the cop said “I don’t know.” Utterly ridiculous.

    • Val

      It’s like dealing with wild animals. You don’t know if cops are going to be friendly or kill you.

      • PriceIsRightHorns

        Yup – it’s a crap shoot. The man is on his back, hands up and had fully explained the situation and the course of action is to fire off a shot? Ok Five-O. Y’all got it.

      • miss t-lee

        So apt.

      • Janelle Doe

        The odds (based on this month) are however not in our favour… And even if you aren’t shot you are body slammed for swimming with your friends in a public pool or thrown out of class (literally)

    • Sahel

      Seriously,are they not taught trigger control.

      • PriceIsRightHorns

        Not only that, but why are they unable to properly assess a situation without killing or harming someone? Were they unable to comprehend Mr. Kinsey’s explanation and SEE that he was trying to help someone?

        • Blueberry01

          Nope. Helping other people out is a white trait.

      • catgee12

        I believe they are taught that Blacks have a greater propensity for crime and violence so they go into every situation expecting to have to regulate.

    • But damn…
      Im on my back, hands up.
      What was the threat?

    • RagingNatural

      The craziest thing is people aren’t shocked that the police shot him for no reason, just that he survived. THAT says a lot about our society.

      • LKNMRE

        I’m honestly surprised he is alive and it’s ALL I can think about.

        • RagingNatural

          Me too. And it’s scary that we are even thinking this way. That’s how normalized black death by the police has become.

      • PriceIsRightHorns

        I am thankful and amazed that he is here to tell his story.

        • RagingNatural

          You and me both!

      • Leah

        Yup, my first thought was “Oh, I’m so glad he is still alive.” Then realized that I had to be grateful for that….instead of it being absolutely normal to still be alive after interacting with an officer in broad daylight AT YOUR WORKPLACE.

  • Vitianagary

    Apparently the police were responding to a call reporting “A man with a gun… blah blah blah…” Am I wrong for wanting to call the police the next time I see my WHITE neighbors walking and report drug activity or a weapon… I just want to see (and record) what happens when the person doesn’t look “like a threat/BLACK”… please tell me I’m wrong because I want to call so bad…

    • Leah

      Someone (white man) was open carrying during a “cruise night” in our downtown where lots of motorcyclists come and park. We were eating out on the restaurant patio and he walked by several times. I wanted to call the cops on him so badly.

  • miss t-lee

    You’ve been lucky I guess to never have to call 911.
    I’m hesitant to call them folks on anyone unless it’s some really real sh*t going down.
    Even last week as I had heard the blaring bassline and loud talking of my neighbors partying at 3AM on a f*cking Tuesday, I refused to call the cops. Especially in these days and times where situations are going from 0 to 100 and people are ending up dead over nothing. I don’t need that on my conscience.

    • Freebird

      It’s sad that you had to think about the inconvenience the police would be to folks playing loud music outside your home.

      • miss t-lee

        Exactly. Aint’ that some sh*t?

    • Ess Tee

      Ugh. But I feel you. I had some off and on conflict with my downstairs neighbor from February to April this year, and while I documented it all via email and sent it to the management office, I was still so hesitant to call the police.

      We’ve seen not only how it can go all the way left for the person the cops are called for, but for the person who called the cops as well.

      • miss t-lee

        Yup. And Yup.
        I feel you all the way around.
        The management office is just like, “call the cops”. I’m like…we gotta find another way.

        • Ess Tee

          Same thing the woman told me in the email. smh

          • miss t-lee

            Ugh.

        • Cleojonz

          Which is utter BS, isn’t there disturbance language in the lease documentation? It IS their job to deal with it.

          • miss t-lee

            There is. Quiet hours are supposed to be from 10PM-6AM.
            However, getting that enforced is a whole nother animal.

            • Lewis Goudy

              They just put that in there to get you to sign. It’s for their convenience (in getting a tenant).
              Enforcing it isn’t convenient.

              • miss t-lee

                I can believe it.

      • L8Comer

        It’s so terrible to have to negotiate your own safety like that. Did you end up calling?

        I also had an issue with a neighbor a while back. He was white so I wasn’t concerned about his safety, I was just hesitant to call until things escalated to a really dangerous level. Please don’t do that! And you’re right, your own experience with the cops as the caller can be hit or miss. Thankfully, Most of mine were good probably in part b/c I knew one of the cops on my beat b/c he used to come by my job all the time. But that one bad experience with the cops left me shaken and hesitant..

        • Ess Tee

          I didn’t call after all. The last time he started up, I shot off that email so fast. That day, the management office sent us both letters that detailed if there were reports/complaints again, eviction was eminent. And literally that day I walked into my apartment to that letter, he started banging the ceiling when he heard me walking from the front door to my bedroom (it’s wood flooring). That’s when I sent yet another email to management like, This is BS. They must have sent him a threatening letter direct from their lawyer after that because he hasn’t done anything since (this was early May).

          And the reason why I was so hesitant was precisely because he’s Black. (Yet, there’s also something to the fact that this Black man had no qualms with being a threatening d*ck to a Black woman…)

          • L8Comer

            It’s a shame.. That labor of putting your blackness ahead of your gender. You’re lucky management was so helpful to you, mine couldn’t have cared less. Just make sure you keep documentation of everything and be safe… Don’t let things escalate too much before u call the cops. Seems like you’re management is taking care of it tho

            • Val

              Yep, that intersectionality stuff is complicated.

    • Val

      I really don’t think cops exist to help us. I think they exist to keep us in line.

      • miss t-lee

        Hmmmm. You might be onto something, Val.

      • catgee12

        Cops exist to keep White people safe. Since Black people are dangerous and detrimental to said safety, cops exist to handle us. Quite simple equation.

        • kingpinenut

          lawd…i heard the choir sangin

          • Mochasister

            And then the church said amen.

        • Zeroed Out

          I’m white and they haven’t kept me safe. In fact, they went after me over nothing more than an accusation, despite the fact that I had never been arrested and lived in a nice neighborhood. And later, when I needed them to protect me from a guy who was harassment my wife and myself, they showed up and talked to HIM for ten minutes before checking on us.

          • AngelMonique

            You. Are. Still. Alive.

            • Mochasister

              He don’t hear you tho.

              • AngelMonique

                No he did not. He can afford not to though. That we know for sure.

            • Zeroed Out

              Yes, I am… as are 99.9999% of the black men and women who are arrested each day. And of the people who we’re working with at a food bank for our community service, we are the only two white people, whereas there are around 10-15 black men and women at any given time… and guess what? They’re all still alive, too, even those who have had multiple altercations with cops. So… what is your point, except to leave a snarky comment?

              • AngelMonique

                Two things:
                1. My comment wasn’t snarky. Ask for clarity. I don’t mind saying so.

                2. You have spent the time you’ve been here centering you and your wife. This ain’t about yall. This isn’t about what you went through, how your life was affected, nor whether or not you can get back on your feet. Try pulling up something to back your 99.9999% stat your threw up there. Fifteen people? Great! Fifteen of us lived to tell the tale. Fifteen people had peaceful interaction with the cops and were not harassed at all? Great! The fact that you quote fifteen is pathetic AF since I can tell you about hundreds that did NOT have the same experience.

              • Blueberry01

                …that if it were a situation between you and one of Black coworkers, the cops would talk to YOU for 10 minutes before checking on your coworkers….

          • AOM

            The fact that you think the police were there to make you and your wife feel better proves the point. The officer’s job isn’t to check on you or make your wife feel less frightened. I’m sure the office thought he was doing his job of keeping you safe by dealing with the suspect.

            Also, the fact that you have been wrongfully accused does not disprove any point made above. No one said, “the cops never harass, wrongfully accuse, or commit brutality against white people” No one. And yet, that’s what you seem to have read.

            • Zeroed Out

              Um… you completely misunderstood me. I was actually agreeing with the point, not disagreeing. What I said proved the point being made because that was my statement’s intention. :-)

              That being said, in our 911 call, my wife was crying and I told the operative that I feared for our safety. When the officers showed up, there was no way they could have known that we weren’t hurt or dead inside the apartment. So hanging outside for 10 minutes chatting with the perpetrator seems kinda odd to me. What if he had successfully attacked us and we were lying in the apartment bleeding to death? At one point, I actually opened our bedroom window and yelled for the cops and they ignored us. I don’t think anyone would disagree that those two officers were not protecting, nor serving.

              • AOM

                So wait — how are you agreeing with the point that cops exist to keep white people safe by saying “I’m white and they haven’t kept me safe”?

                My point was that you think the cops exist to keep you safe. Your response underscores that point.

                • Zeroed Out

                  I was referring to this statement — “I really don’t think cops exist to help us. I think they exist to keep us in line.”

                  I may have misunderstood, though, as I thought this person saying “us” meant everyone… not just black people.

                  I’m actually in a few different discussions on this board right now, so I might have mixed them up a bit. If so, I apologize. But my main point is that cops don’t keep anyone safe except each other… THAT is their only responsibility.

        • you’sajoke

          Have you noticed when the kkk rally in public that the cops are there to keep them sade from harm, HOWEVER, of its a BLM protest, they’re there to make sure they don’t harm others?

          Backwards or what?

        • Leah

          Yeah. I didn’t understand this (as a white person) until several experiences with Chicago PD showed me that loud and clear.

      • They’ve never existed to help us and the sooner we understand that the better off we will be.

        That is a historical fact. PERIOD.

        http://negrawithtumbao.com/2016/07/09/black-folks-guide-amerikkka-police-law-enforcement/

      • S J
      • Ra

        Cop exists to serve and protect each other. Hence, the endless official justifications and paid vacation leaves whenever they shoot and/or murder innocent Black lives. That’s why the portion of the public who understands this fact of life adds thousand of dollars in go-fund-me bonuses on top of their paid vacation leaves.

    • Miss Chanandler Bong

      I’ve only had to call it once; because an unhinged guy in my store refused to leave and told me he’d kill me. Looked me dead-ass in the eye and said, “I’ll kill you.” And it wasn’t even scary, I just though, “Well this is going to be a big hassle isn’t it?” Shockingly the cops took him away without getting rough!

      • miss t-lee

        Yeah, there are times I’ve definitely called.
        Like when I heard my old neighbors fighting and he put her through their plate glass window. I definitely called then.

        • PriceIsRightHorns

          I think I’ve called them three times. I was driving once and saw a woman being beaten by a man on an apartment balcony and I called. I called when my neighbors dog ran after my mom and she was upset and started crying. Don’t f*ck with my mama and keep that mangy dog behind a fence. I called back in college when a bunch of white kids from FSU were having a wild football party and started throwing glass in the street when the Noles lost. Oh y’all are trippin now and don’t think I forgot about the time you called on my boys when they were having that crab boil.

      • Junegirl627

        My neighbor brother has emotional/mental issues grown man black.

        He had an episode and the police were called to aid the doctor/therapist & emt’s. They were trying to sedate him so they could take him to the hospital. The police messdc this up so badly. Instead of acting as backup one cop decides to rush him and paid for it with an elbow to the face and some kicks. I still say God bless that doctor because the doctor jumped and stood in front of my neighbors brother and the cops couldn’t get a shot off I’m watching this whole situation go down from my window.

        That same doctor testified for my neighbors brother and wrote a letter to the judge saying that the officer put himself and everybody in danger by not listening to professionals on how to proceed. My neighbors brother was sentenced to his hospital and I saw him a few months ago doing really well. He even has a job and his own place now.

        • Okitech623

          My brother has similar difficulties. When he’s having one of his episodes we fear for his safety because there’s almost always police involvement at some point. He lived with me for a few months and we lived in the same city for several years. Thankfully there were specially trained officers that are called when a person displays signs of mental instability. They had a mandate to take the person to get a psyche eval instead of taking them to jail. I truly believe those officers saved my brother’s life on several occasions. All cities should have units and procedures like that in place. Unfortunately jails act as defacto mental health facilities in a lot of major cities in this country.

    • Junegirl627

      EXACTLY!!!!!

      I’ve been saying this for the longest. You can ‘t have if you see something say something & killing of unarmed citizens at the same time. I don’t want it on my conscience. I don’t wanna be the 911 call you hear the police use as justifying killing my neighbors 18 year old son because his loud trap music caused them to be in fear of their lives and SWAT had no choice but to storm his house in full riot gear and kill him because he was feeding his baby and they thought the hot pink bottle was a gun. Then find out they went to the wrong house. Like a bunch of bumbling idiots

      • miss t-lee

        See. You’re thinking about it just like I thought about it.

        • Junegirl627

          Of course! Who wants to be the call that put someone in their grave decades before their time. This is the true effect of police brutality. The police can’t be everywhere at once. i don’t care how many cameras we install people will always be the best line of defense and the best aid to good policing. If something goes wrong and the public aids the police we see justice but when the public is so scared of what will happen to the innocent and fear for the safety of the guilty noone will be good citizens and help. This is the real reason for so much black on black crime. I remember wen families made kids go back to the scene of the crime and admit what they did. You were taught a lession about the consequences of your actions. Who is willing to take the chance of their child getting shot by police or found hanging from the cell a la Sandra Brand?

          • Janelle Doe

            Preach!!

      • Maestro G

        The really sad thing about this, JuneGirl, is that your hyperbole…isn’t.

        • Junegirl627

          I have a Black vs All lives matter debate and recited details of some of these’s shootings and instead of saying killed or shot I said called the police and realized that the word police officer is a trigger or a dog whistle for caucasians. ex. if you ask a person do you think its justifiable to call the cops because a black guy stared at you to long before walking away? most people will say “no” or “of course not” but if you say a police officer killed a black guy for….. they reverse. Try it out it fascinating

          • Maestro G

            I will have to try that.

            What a crazy world we live in.

          • Mochasister

            I would try but I refuse to engage wypipo in discussions about topics more serious than the Lord or the weather. When I keep things on a superficial basis with them, I get along with them much bettet. It’s done wonders for keeping my blood pressure low. I believe in self care.

            • grownandsexy2

              Self care is of utmost importance.

              • Mochasister

                Yes, it is. I am precious and I have to take care of myself.

            • Okitech623

              I have a coworker I have to treat like this. He’s leaving the team soon. It will suck from a workload perspective but will be great for my self care.

            • La Bandita

              I have a puppy, that helps.

              • Mochasister

                Yes, fur babies do help lower your blood pressure. When they’re not destroying your shoes!

                • La Bandita

                  Crate train;)

                  • Mochasister

                    Oh, my fur baby died a few years ago and I haven’t gotten another. When I do, I plan on having that. I know I’ll eventually get another dog. Just not right now.

    • Kas

      My stupid question for the day. You don’t know your neighbors well enough to politely ask them to turn the music down?

      • miss t-lee

        No. I don’t.
        And, especially not at 3AM.
        This is Texas, I don’t knock on rando doors in the middle of the night.

        • Kas

          Gotcha. Sounds like a rock and a hard place for you.

          • miss t-lee

            Not exactly.
            It was a one off. In the three years I’ve been at my place that was the only incident I’ve had.
            It remains to be seen if this will be ongoing or not.

        • Jennifer

          This is one of those moments where I usually have to weigh whether I am concerned for my safety because I’m a black person or because I’m a woman. Dilemma!

          • miss t-lee

            Exactly. You totally feel me.

        • Maestro G

          I live in Texas, too. I feel you. That’s a good way to get shot.

          • miss t-lee

            A very good way.

        • RaeRae

          Yeah…we don’t roll like that here AT ALL!

          • miss t-lee

            Not for a second.

          • Maxine Shaw

            Born and raised in Big D…cheaaaaaah. We don’t do doors. And it’s not uncommon to live next to your neighbors for 20 years and never meet them, ESPECIALLY if they wypipo.

            • RaeRae

              You ain’t NEVA lied!

      • My Asian neighbor once called popo on us in the middle of the night because my car was “too close” to his driveway. I wasn’t blocking it in any way, but he couldn’t bring his a s s next door and open his mouth because he knew I would’ve cursed him and his mother for suggesting I move it when it wasn’t blocking. Some folks want to dig their heels in your neck more than they want to actually solve the “problem.”

        • Kas

          We have called the police once since I’ve been in my current house. Some white teenager was offroading in his truck behind our house. But we didn’t hesitate to call. :)

        • Julie Mango TheGladiator Staff

          Some people LIVE to be trifling!

        • Mochasister

          What trifling nonsense is this?! What did the police say? Next time he’s cooking call the police about the offensive coming from his house. Honestly.

          • They kind of laughed it off and said just make sure to stay away from them because they’re obviously petty af.

      • Cheech

        When I was in college, we lived above a guy named Darryl. Darryl was a football player (linebacker) and a Sigma. Lived by himself, nice guy, but we didn’t always see eye to eye musically.

        We got pretty used to asking Darryl to turn it down, and he did, but usually not by much and not for long. So one time when we didn’t feel like walking downstairs, we put the speakers face down on the floor, and cranked up the Captain and Tennille. Loud.

        Soon there was a knock on the door. We opened it, and there in the hall were six members of the Sigma line. Single file, short to tall, stone faced. The one in front announced, “Darryl asks, would you please turn the music down.” We said sure. He said, equally stone faced, “Thank you.”

        We eventually got used to Darryl’s music.

        • Kas

          Sounds better than the time my friend and his roommate locked themselves in their bedroom while one of their suite mates (shot putter) fought with his 6′ 5″ girlfriend (basketball player) and wrecked the place. Apparently, a combination of her being able to her own and him just trying to contain her. I was in tears when he told the story.

        • Mochasister

          Ahh, being on line. The good old days.

      • Mochasister

        Kas, some people are truly unhinged. It’s not like in the old days when you could borrow sugar from your neighbor. As a single woman I tend to leave my neighbors alone. Beyond a hi/bye I don’t have a relationship with them.

      • AngelMonique

        I’ve lived here less than two months but we have met them and their son. We have spoken to him about it and he said he would handle it. It cranks up still more times than not. I think we’re dealing with an issue of them either being hard of hearing or the fact that they are drinkers. Morning 10 AM drinkers of Crown out of the bottle. Drunks. I don’t want to assume but there’s that.

        • Mochasister

          Damn, they gettin’ they drink on at 10 in the morning?! Sounds like you live next door to a geriatric version of a Snoop Dogg rap song! Yeah, they sound like some lushes.

    • Gibbous

      On the other hand, I have seen where cops have complained about wypipo calling the cops on their neighbors because they never bothered to get out an meet them. The cops are like “They LIVE HERE, that’s why they’re hanging out (all suspicious like) in their own yard!”

      • miss t-lee

        Interesting.

      • Junegirl627

        I saw this cop blog where they said this exactly and how they got pissed because they get blamed for racist whipeople using the police to do their dirty work

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/05/06/these-cops-are-tired-of-white-people-getting-freaked-out-by-their-black-neighbors/

        • Gibbous

          Yup. Saw this one too.

        • kingpinenut

          That’s the role of police…be the buffer for punkarsed scared wypipo

        • lkeke35

          I think I mentioned this on another post. There’s a class of white people who call the police hoping to get somebody shot. (The John Crawford/Walmart case for example.)

        • Jo ‘Mama’ Besser

          Reminds me the guy who was walking through his neighbourhood who had the cops called on him because he was walking with his hands in his coat pockets–in winter. The cop thought it was nonsense, too.

    • AngelMonique

      My elderly neighbors put a speaker outside and blast music daily until nine or so at night. Our rule is if they don’t turn it off by nine, my husband will go ask them to. I refuse to call the police on these people. They kill our elders too.

      • miss t-lee

        True facts. They don’t even care.

    • lkeke35

      What I find interesting is that we wouldn’t call the police for fear of getting someone else, even people we clearly dislike, killed. But the white people ( or ytpipo) who had called the police on various dead black men, does it affect their conscience, (especially John Crawford’s lying tattler, who should be having every sleepless night, or the person who called on Tamir?)

      Or do they just blithely go through the rest of their life not feeling at all responsible for the death of another human being? (Unless of course, the purpose was to get that person shot by the police, which may have been the case in the Crawford shooting.)

      • miss t-lee

        I don’t think they have the thought process.

      • AOM

        Nope. They either don’t see the risk, or conclude that the end result was justified. See, e.g., everyone twist into pretzels explaining why Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Alton Sterling, etc. deserved to get shot.

      • Maxine Shaw

        To be fair about Tamir’s caller, he *did* say that it was a kid and the gun was probably fake. The operator didn’t pass that information on. Now CRAWFORD’S caller? That guy should never sleep again. Never.

    • Mochasister

      I always say that the only way I would call the police is it’s a situation that I can’t handle or someone’s life is in danger. I would hate for anyone to wind up like Tyesha Miller.

      • miss t-lee

        I’d never heard of this case before until now. What a shame.

        • Mochasister

          Unfortunately, there are too many cases like this. It’s scary to think that the ones we know about are just the tip of the iceberg.

          • miss t-lee

            Indeed.

  • Hope

    I get it. A few months ago there was an African woman screaming and crying in front of one of my neighbors house about her son. I don’t know what the situation was and my partner, who is a nosey asshole, had just gotten to my house and was filming the scene. We couldn’t figure out what was happening but we both agreed that we hoped none of our white neighbors called the cops. Most of my neighbors are black, hispanic, or middle eastern, but there are a few older southern white women who take much joy in being all up in other ppl’s business. Ultimately she wasn’t hurting anyone and she was crying and sitting on the sidewalk in front of our townhouses. Him and I couldn’t imagine a situation where police would actually help her. I stated something to that affect on Facebook, that I couldn’t imagine where police would help in this situation and I wouldn’t call them for fear of the woman ending up shot. Litearlly all the Becky’s an Susan’s came out the woodworks to let me know how good the Durham police are (we had a man die in custody in the back of a police car, but I digress) and how helpful they would have been and how I should never be afraid to call the police when I need them. Kay. There definitely is a different view of what warrants police involvement. Even when my house did get broken in to I felt weird about dialing 911 because all they took was my purse and some beer. Probably just kids.

    • DiamondIsMyRealName

      #Durm yaaaasss! lol I just wanted to rep with my NC fam. :)

      • Gibbous

        Hey NC

      • DL

        I live in Durham too! While I have only had positive interactions with DPD I would never call unless I thought it was a life or death situation.

        • DiamondIsMyRealName

          Yeah, Durham gets a bad rap. I was raised in south Raleigh, and seriously live within walking distance of the Wake County line now, but all you mostly heard (until recent years) is the how bad the bull is/was. I try my hardest not to feed into the hype but I can only imagine the law around here has heard if not seen half of what I have. I did have one pleasant encounter with an officer. I was in the hood, on the side of the road, where these men had a tent setup and sold fish plates…but I knew for sure my food was gonna be good when an officer stopped to get a plate. lol

  • Val

    If Osama Bin Laden resurrected himself and along with Isis was trying to break in to my house I would have to seriously consider what would be more dangerous to me, calling police or dealing with Osama and Isis?

    And at this point I think I’d have a better chance of surviving dealing with Osama and Isis on my own. And that’s not hyperbole.

    • You good as long as long as you:
      1.Aren’t screaming.
      2.Just getting out the shower and your head is wrapped.
      3. See 1and 2.

    • Sahel

      Does this happen to,latinos ? Asians ?

      • Val

        Latinos, yes, depending on how dark their skin is. Asians not so much. They are seen as the model minority.

      • Brandon Allen

        If they’re white prolly not.

  • King Beauregard

    I think this is a real good article to show people, particularly us melanin-deficient types.

  • Artemus Jenkins

    I called the police once, on a “suspicious” looking white man sitting across the street from my house in a car. Closest thing to reparations I might ever get

  • Ghettoprincess

    I hate her.

  • As a society, we necessarily give police a monopoly on violence to prevent citizens from exercising their animosities on each other. But what that means is that they are very quick to use violence to solve their problems. The lack of accountability (I bet the police who shot Kinsey will be reassigned or fired, but not bought to trial, with the settlement coming from taxes and not police pensions) when it comes to jumping to violent solutiosn is the crux of #blacklivesmatters.

    hhharris.wordpress.com

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