As exhausting as it is to write about the continued mistreatment of Black people — male, female, adult, and youth alike — and as tiresome as it must be to continue to read about it, let us never forget that it is even worse for those who have to experience it firsthand. Tracy Hamilton admits that her 10-year-old son, Kevin (pictured), has had some behavioral problems — enough to have him already enrolled at an alternative school. However, what exactly does a 10-year-old have to do to result in police officers not only tackling him, but proceeding to give him several visible bruises to his face?
Speaking with WTHR 13 in Indianapolis, Hamilton quotes her son’s account of the event, noting, “He just told me the police jumped on him and he hit the ground and his head hit the ground real hard. They put handcuffs on him.”
Police claim that the school went in to lockdown because Kevin assaulted a teacher by cornering her and throwing objects — a serious offense, surely. But as two officers proceeded to chase Kevin down a hallway, one claims to have accidentally fallen on him.
And when Kevin’s mother arrived, she was told, “Well, do not be alarmed, he has a scratch.” Upon taking Kevin to the emergency room for treatment and explaining to nurses what had happened, a nurse responded, “That could not be so.”
But it is so and it begs the question: Why?
Kevin was not arrested, though police have countered that this is not their first time dealing with his behavioral problems.
Fair enough, but again, why does a 10-year-old have to be rushed to the hospital to treat facial wounds?
I’m not excusing Kevin’s alleged poor behavior, but it’s no secret that Black students (and other minority groups) are disciplined far more harshly in school than their White counterparts. Likewise, now more than ever are we being bombarded with evidence that Black people are treated unfairly by many law enforcement officials.
In that same state and only little more than a week ago before Kevin’s assault, Lisa Mahone, her boyfriend Jamal Jones, and their two kids were driving on Sept. 24th, when Mahone was stopped and ticketed for driving without wearing a seat belt. An offense, for sure, but not one that surely didn’t warrant the following acts: Jones ended up being tasered and Mahone’s car window was smashed.
Mahone’s 14-year-old captured the events on his cell phone.
Despite sitting in the passenger seat, Jones was asked to show his ID. He did not have his license on him, so what did the police officers do? Draw guns on him and order him out of the car. Mahone called 9-1-1 but that did not stop officers from using a stun gun on him.
Mahone’s kids suffered minor cuts from flying glass.
“Thank goodness Joseph took the video, because the video stands for itself that these officers engaged in excessive force,” attorney Dana Kurtz said in a news conference with the couple Tuesday. They plan to sue on the grounds of excessive force, false arrest, and battery. May they get every cent they’re seeking.
In response, Hammond police said via statement on Tuesday:
“Police officers who make legal traffic stops are allowed to ask passengers inside of a stopped vehicle for identification and to request that they exit a stopped vehicle for the officer’s safety without a requirement of reasonable suspicion. When the passenger displayed movements inside of the stopped vehicle that included placing his hand in places where the officer could not see, officers’ concerns for their safety were heightened.”
Even when presented with proof of abuse, they cower behind convenient interpretations of the law.
If each of these stories were being reported in the New York Times, perhaps it might be noted how each of the people involved are “no angel.”
No, but it’s quite clear who the devils are.
What’s even clearer is no matter how old you are or what nominal level of offense you may commit, you may be met by brute force. And they will vilify you. And hide behind their shields. All in the name of trying to elude the reality that they are rotten to the core and racist at the center. But no matter how hard they try and flip events, the truth remains the same: they are wrong; damn wrong.