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Delane Gordon tased by Tennessee police

Source: youtube / WTVC News Channel 9

There’s a certain reality we who don’t have the complexion for protection have to grapple withKaren sh** doesn’t work for Black people.

White people can walk into any space and pretend they own it. They can shout, “I want to speak to your manager” and understand that they wear a thick layer of whiteness that will shield their aggressive and annoying behavior from being perceived as threatening. Likewise, they can be belligerent with police officers without expecting to be demanded out of their vehicle, and worse yet, tased for refusing to do so out of discomfort and fear.

For Black people—well, we all saw the blue intolerance for Black people pushing back on unreasonable demands when Sandra Bland was arrested. 

The Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office is investigating an incident in which Black DoorDash employee Delane Gordon was pulled over in Collegedale, Tennessee, for speeding. The Washington Post reported that according to Gordan’s attorney, the 28-year-old “politely and repeatedly” asked to speak to the officer’s supervisor because he was fearful and uncomfortable with the stop. Things reportedly escalated when the officer demanded Gordon get out of his car. Part of the incident was recorded by a camera Gordon had set up inside his car.

Now, the video is only about 49 seconds long, so we won’t get a full sense of what went down during the March 10 incident, but what can clearly be seen is a relatively calm Black man who appears to simply be uncomfortable getting out of his vehicle for an aggressive cop who thinks pulling his taser and manhandling is an appropriate response to a person who isn’t physically threatening him but won’t immediately bend to his every demand. Cops always appear to be far less tolerant of Black people who argue and won’t immediately do what they say than they are when Karen and Ken are giving the same energy.

“Get out!” the unnamed officer can be heard saying while pointing his taser at Gordon. The officer can be heard accusing Gordon of not providing his identification.

“Sir, I feel uncomfortable,” Gordon said. “Please get your supervisor.”

Eventually, the officer grabbed Gordon trying to force him out of the car, and when that didn’t work, he pulled his taser again and ultimately tased him.

“Please stop!” Gordon is heard saying as the officer tries to pull him out of the car. “Please don’t hurt me. Why are you doing this?”

“Oh my God! That’s not lawful, sir!” he said after the officer tased him.

According to the Post, Gordon’s attorney, Ryan Wheeler, said during a news conference Friday that questioning an officer “shouldn’t be met with an immediate escalation,” and “shouldn’t be met with an officer interpreting that exchange as a challenge to his authority.

Wheeler also mentioned that Gordon was unarmed and that he “has no criminal history and we want to keep it that way.” But Gordon is charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of justice and Wheeler said Friday that his client is focused on “dealing with these charges.”

From the Post:

Without describing the incident or naming Gordon, the Hamilton County district attorney’s office requested that the county sheriff’s office investigate a March 10 traffic stop by the Collegedale Police Department, involving a driver facing the same charges as Gordon. In a March 15 Facebook post, the Collegedale Police Department said it “will be cooperating fully” with the sheriff’s probe and added that it is conducting its own investigation.

“We anticipate a release of the full body camera video and Internal Affairs report, as soon as those investigations are closed,” Lt. Jamie Heath of the Collegedale Police Department told the Post. Heath also told the Associated Press that, as of Friday, the officer hadn’t been put on leave.

Wheeler argued that people should be able to have “respectful interactions” with cops without things escalating the way they did with Gordon, who Wheeler mentioned was “fearful” in the moment “because he’s never dealt with an irate officer.

More than likely, all that’s going to matter is a Black man telling a police officer “no.”

I mean, who does Gordon think he is—a Karen?


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