The last time I had a police interaction I was flying up the FDR, drunk as a skunk, cup full of vodka on the ledge of my open glove compartment door.
I had tried the fake out, slowing down once I’d actually seen the police car hiding up ahead, but the liquor had dulled my reflexes.
When the cop came up to the window, there was probably a full ten seconds of silent unbroken eye contact before he finally asked me for my license and registration.
When he said, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
If he’d have been able to stop staring at me in dumb amazement, he might have taken a glance around the car and seen the vodka and or even taken a good sniff of my ride and detected the weed, but my thinking is that he’d been so fascinated by my silence due to a history of experiencing niggas that turned into blathering, excuse-making jelly in his presence, that he felt frustrated by his inability to get to become an asshole.
Black people are willfully kept ignorant of our rights, most specifically our Miranda Rights which not only guarantee a “right to remain silent” but also ominously warns that “anything you say can be used against you.”
Now, I’m not gonna review the entire history of Black interactions with cops, but two cases where knowledge and practice of this particular right would have best helped those that ultimately became victims were Eric Garner and the Central Park 5.
Mr. Garner, which everyone knows because the details are still fresh, was the loosey cigarette vendor that died as a result of a police chokehold.
Before he was actually killed however, Mr. Garner adamantly protested his impending arrest. Had he quietly refrained from doing so, he’d be alive today.
Now, while the above paragraph may read as if I am, in fact, justifying bad policing – which is what the death of Mr. Garner was ultimately a result of – what I’m actually doing is warning that as Black people, we should always expect bad policing.
The psychology of American police work makes it necessary to believe that all Black people are liars.
Therefore, when a Black person opens his mouth to speak to the cops, the cops naturally expect to be lied to.
And like anyone else that feels they’re being lied to, most of them begin to feel insulted.
Of course, with the Central Park 5, an epic miscarriage of justice which cost 5 Black and Latino kids their youth, since a young white woman had been found raped in the park one night and those kids had been found coming from the park, the cops put two and two together and came up with five.
Never mind that years later and after many of them had served time after having been convicted for the jogger’s rape, that another convicted sex offender emerged to accept responsibility for the crime by giving details consistent with the crime scene, by that point, the damage was done.
Of particular note here are two things: the police coerced “confessions” out of the boys – which means we gotta teach our kids not to talk to the cops – and current Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took out a full page add in The New Daily News urging for a return of the death penalty just to handle these boys.
Shows you how far Trump is willing to run with a mistake.
And it also shows you why you should never talk to cops.
They invented lawyers for that kinda shit.