“When will it stop,” asked one social media user. “It” being members of law enforcement brutalizing and/or harassing Black people.
In Florida, two Black men on bikes were recently wrongfully accused of armed robbery after being ordered by gunpoint to dismount from the bikes, lay facedown on the ground and then crawl towards the officers.
This was all confirmed by the Orlando Police Department to TMZ on Thursday. According to TMZ, the two men were detained because they… wait for it… “fit the description” of armed robbers on bikes.
An unidentified man who was in the midst of vacationing in the Florida city reported to police that two dark-skinned Black men on bikes claimed to have a gun and proceded to rob him of his wallet, Apple Watch and digital camera.
Two Black men who had nothing to do with the alledged crime, were riding on bikes when suddenly a police car with flashing lights approached them, with officers demanded they get off their bikes and onto the ground. One of the cyclists just happened to be recording his ride using what appeared to be a GoPro, and caught to entire encounter, complete with his conversation with police.
Forcing another human being to crawl, especially when the order is given under the threat of force and violence, is considered by cultures all over the globe to be a power move specifically meant to demean, belittle and humiliate the person doing the crawling.
When adding the racial component and the long, 400-plus year history of purposeful mistreatment of Black people in America, via enslavement, Jim Crow, domestic terrorism, land theft, etc., this incident further highlights to many the need for an entire overhaul of policing and the entire criminal justice system.
In the video, the cyclist asked the officers why they are being detained and why their guns are drawn. He continually proclaimed their innocence and said they were just coming from a nearby 711.
In another clip, the man recording is seen sitting on the ground with his legs folded. He asked why they are being held and an officer replied that they fit the description of two robbers.
Yet another video shows one of the men wrongfully detained explaining that he and his fellow rider were finally let go after the man who was allegedly robbed confirmed they were not the men that robbed him.
Police bodycam footage of an officer’s exchange with one of the wrongly detained men shows that man asking the officer to explain why he and his riding companion were pulled off their bikes at gunpoint. The officer can be heard saying he’s trying to explain himself, although his tone seems absent of any apology, empathy or humanity, at least according to several indviduals who viewed that video online.
SOCIAL MEDIA USERS’ RESPONSES
“When will good cops realize that they match the description of the bad cops? Black men and women also want to return home alive at the end of the day. Cops must be held to a higher standard.” (unidentified social media user)
“Smh.. when will it stop.” (@Melissa53148693)