I got arrested after a traffic stop once. I was 20 years old.
The cop that pulled me over was a little Napoleonic mothefucker that, once he ordered me out of the car, climbed all over me like a monkey in a show of “force”.
He was so inept at arresting me that, after a while, I had to ask him, “You need a hand?”
Of course, this wasn’t Sandra Bland’s situation at all except, of course, for the similar lack of necessity in her arrest.
Why was she arrested?
Before any other questions can be even posed, that’s the one that needs to be answered first.
And if it can’t be answered, which I am more than certain that it can’t, then every member of the grand jury that failed to make any indictments as a result of Ms. Bland’s “suicide” should all be found hanging dead in jail cells.
And it’s here that you’ll have to excuse me often due to my limited intelligence caused, no doubt, by my Blackness, but “why” seems to be the single and consistent theme that has caused the dilemma resulting in the need for a #Blacklivesmatter movement.
When I first watched the Eric Garner, even before seeing the grizzly, unbearable climax, I kept asking audibly, “Why are they arresting him?”
To me it seemed, agitated as Mr. Garner was, that certainly attempting to calm him down was in order and then if he refused to calm down, a court summons could have been laid at his feet. Engaging him physically was completely unthinkable.
In Trayvon Martin‘s case, why would you ever have to defend yourself against someone completely oblivious of you? Wouldn’t you, of course, first have to make them aware of you and then get them to understand that your intentions weren’t friendly?
But back to Ms. Bland: anybody with any customer service experience whatsoever knows the adage “the customer’s always right” like they know their own name.
And make no mistake, the police are supposed to be, before anything else, customer servants. Serving and protecting are their mantra.
So no imagining is necessary here, I can say without having been there that when the cop that arrested Ms. Bland approached the car and ascertained for a fact that she was, indeed, a Black woman, he readied himself to counter the disrespectful “attitude” that he knew, I know, you know, we all know because we’ve been conditioned to know that all Black women have.
Never mind that if Ms. Bland had truly intended to be disrespectful, she’d have never pulled her car over in the first place.
Now back to our de facto murderer: if you know you’re about to be struck, you tense up and similarly, if you’re expecting an argument, you’re likely to start one. And who knows what Ms. Bland said. She could have said, “Fuck your mother and suck a dick, faggot!”, as a customer service rep, you have to take that. Otherwise, you’re not qualified to do your job.
And it’s useless to speculate how a pretty blonde that flirted a little might have gotten off with a warning, the point is, short of physical attack, warrants outstanding or visible illegal contraband, there’s absolutely no reason that a routine traffic stop should ever result in an arrest.
But, like always, we’re expected to come up with answers to secondary questions like, why did Mr. Garner resist arrest? Or why did young Trayvon manage to make his completely American attire look so dangerous? Or why – if we’re going to concede that she did – did Ms. Bland kill herself?
Meanwhile, our “why”; singular, exclusive, and the only real or legitimate question, gets ignored entirely.