Everyone has heard stories of racially motivated arrests, and most people know that they’re a problem. However, when these incidents are recorded on video, they have a much stronger effect on the public. Whether it’s a false arrest for a drug crime, a jaywalking crime or trespassing, these incidents should not go unnoticed. Public outcry and protests may be the only way for all Americans to receive equal treatment by law enforcement.
In the instant case, which happened in Philadelphia earlier this week, two black men arrived at a Starbucks to attend a business meeting. However, their associate had yet to arrive, and so they waited before ordering coffee. While the men were waiting, however, a Starbucks employee called police to have the men arrested, saying that they weren’t paying customers and that they refused to leave when asked.
Police soon came to the Starbucks and started asking the men questions while one Starbucks patron asked the police why they were pestering the men unfairly. Meanwhile, other patrons videotaped the entire scene on their cellphones, which they published online.
In the video footage, the arrested men can be heard telling officers that they were waiting to have a business meeting. While the police arrested the men and put them in handcuffs, their business associate arrived at the scene.
When an arrest happens to a certain individual unfairly, and when it is clearly racially-motivated, it doesn’t matter what the accusations of police happen to be. A racially-motivated arrest is unlawful, and individuals who have been targeted by police because of their race may be able to use this fact as strong evidence in their cases to defend against the crimes they’re being accused of.
Source: Washington Post, “Starbucks apologizes after employee calles police on black men waiting at a table,” accessed April 20, 2018