Christopher Lollie's story: Sitting & waiting while Black
Anyone doubt that Black men are profiled irrespective of demeanor, civility, or socio-economic status simply need to listen to the video above. The ubiquity of cellphone video over time will bring to light America’s dirty little secret.
Many ask at times why many Black and Brown people in general, and Black men in particular are distrustful of the police. Many ask why they are sometimes angry in certain situations. Jon Stewart actually got it in a piece he did a couple of days ago.
“Imagine that instead of that on a pretty consistent basis,” Jon Stewart said. “You can’t get a f*cking cab even though you are a neurosurgeon because you’re Black. I guarantee you that every person of color in this country has faced an indignity from the ridiculous to the grotesque to the sometimes fatal at some point in there, I am going to say last couple of hours because of their skin color. … Race is there and it is a constant. You are tired of hearing about it? Imagine how f*cking exhausting it is living it.”
Christopher Lollie's violent arrest is a classic example. Many may want to assume an occurrence like this is an exception. It happens thousands of times every year in every city. This representative sample is telling. The problem is most of the times these events are neither video taped nor documented. It is like the abused spouse that never has the scars visible.
‘Concerned citizens’ called the police because Christopher Lollie was sitting on a bench as he waited to pick up his children. The video speaks for itself.
Christopher Lollie, was assaulted, Tasered, and arrested by the St. Paul, Minnesota police even as he was calm and respectful. He was calm and respectful as he walked with the police officer to pickup his kids but refused to allow his rights to be denied.
Christopher Lollie is not required to provide the police with ID if he broke no law. America is not supposed to be a police state. That did not stop police officers. Instead, more police showed up to ‘assault’ this ‘scary Black man’.
According to Twin Cities Daily Planet,
The St. Paul Police Department did not return our calls in time for this report, but released this statement:
"As is often the case, the video does not show the totality of the circumstances.
Our officers were called by private security guards on a man who was trespassing in a private area. The guards reported that the man had on repeated occasions refused to leave a private "employees only" area in the First National Bank Building.
With no information on who the man was, what he might be doing or why he refused to leave the area, responding Saint Paul police officers tried to talk to him, asking him who he was. He refused to tell them or cooperate.
Our officers are called upon and required to respond to calls for assistance and to investigate the calls. At one point, the officers believed he might either run or fight with them. It was then that officers took steps to take him into custody. He pulled away and resisted officers' lawful orders. They then used the force necessary to safely take him into custody.
The man was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and obstruction of the legal process. Those charges were dismissed in July."
Christopher Lollie told the Twin Cities Daily Planet that he could not post the video until his confiscated phone was returned. Testimony from his children’s teacher stating that he was calm and assaulted by the police caused the charges to be dropped. He said it hurts to watch the video.
“It hurts, it really does,” he said. “Because no matter what — I could be the nicest guy in the world, talk with respect, I can be working, taking care of my kids, doing everything a model citizen is supposed to do — and still I get that type of treatment.”
Currently, Lollie said he’s taking his case to internal affairs and hopes to bring the officers who assaulted him to justice.
Bringing filth to the light usually gets it cleaned up. Hopefully a barrage of videos from ALL concerned citizens displaying this dirty little secret will get it cleaned up sooner than later.
(h/t Jen Hayden)