Tuesday, July 28, 2009

False Arrest.....

Jamie and his "baby" the El Camino....

One of the things that I will never get used to being married to a black man is the way they are treated due to history and stereotypes. Back when I was I pregnant with Tatiana, Jamie and I were going to a store to exchange duplicate baby gifts that we had received at my baby shower. We went to the store, receipt and items in hand. As we got out of the car and were walking into the store, we ran into some friends that were leaving. They decided to go back in with us and catch up and talk while we exchanged our gifts and shopped. This couple also happened to be a black male and white female. We went up to the counter with our receipts and goodies to get credit in the store to shop. While we were at the customer service counter there was a lot of whispering going on. We had no idea what was up and continued on with our shopping adventure. After we were done picking out our items we went to the register to pay with our credit that the store had given us. The manager was acting really weird and seemed to be stalling purposely. I jokingly said, "What do you think, these are counterfeit store dollars or something, you just gave them to us an hour ago." "Ha, ha." Again with the stalling, and he appeared in no mood for jokes. The manager finally finished ringing up our purchases and we started to leave the store. As we were leaving we looked around and the entire building was surrounded by police! We thought, what on earth is going on? Then all of the sudden they take my husband, handcuff him, and tell him to get on the ground. My husband said, "I am not getting on the ground I didn't do anything!" They then put a gun to his head and said, "Get on the ground now!" Needless to say, he did. As this was going on they took me and our female friend around the corner, and then took our male friend and handcuffed him as well! So here we are not having a clue what is happening, I am nine months pregnant, and we are all in shock! I am screaming at the cops to find out what is going on and they told me to shut up or I would be on the ground with my husband! Nine months pregnant no less! By now they have taken my husband and our friend to separate cop cars, searched our cars and purses, and have kept us from our men. Finally, I said, "I need to know what is going on, and you need to call my friend who is a cop and talk to him, because whatever you think you have our husbands for, you have got the wrong guys!" So come to find out five days earlier there was an armed robbery at that store....guess who did it? Two black men! So of course our husbands were the robbers coming back to do it again! =) This time with receipts in hand and a pregnant woman to boot! Insanity!!!!!! After what seemed to be hours, they finally let my husband, myself, and our female friend go. Our male friend was taken to jail (he was "closer" to the size description) and then later released after they realized none of us had anything to do with the robbery! The only thing the two men that committed the crime had in common with our men was the fact that they were black. Height, weight, hair, age etc.....all totally different! So, two black men, with receipts, come to have a nice day of shopping and BOOM....false arrest at it's worst!

7 comments:

Madelyn said...

Oh My God. I think you should have sued those a**holes. I can't believe that. Disgraceful. Other than these comments I am almost speechless.

Amy said...

I know crazy huh!? Jamie didn't want to deal with going to court because he said it wouldn't change anything. I was so mad and so upset and wanted to fight back but he said, "You just don't get it....this is the way it is for black men and it will never change." That statement broke my heart. I was young and naive and wanted to change the world. In my heart I believed things could turn around. That is why I write this blog. It is my little bit of "change" so to speak. Today's post reminds me of the professor that was just arrested at his home last week back East. As we see from his story on it goes 14 years later. We still have a long way to go.

Madelyn said...

I am so skeptical..I don't even believe the 911 tapes of the incident, call me crazy...seems like those could be produced somehow to clear wrongdoing. Poor Jaime and you..going through that.

"J" said...

Unbelievable!! Reading this, literally made my stomach churn in anger!..
Your hubby is a true pacifist!!! Word! Taking abuse like that(with Your woman pregnant at your side!) would've surely blown me a fuse. And people still wonder why some blacks are so angry and resentful towards the police and their, sometimes, abusive use of power????

Do You two think it could happen again today? Or did things cange a bit nowadays?..If not , I fear for The US of A. Stuff like this is bound to traumatize a society/country for a long time.

F.I. a lot of elder Dutchmen still have a hard time forgiving Germans for ransacking our country, even though WWII was 65 years ago!

Amy said...

J,

The entire story is still crazy to me too and I was there! Unfortunately it does still happen today but maybe not to that extreme. Things have changed somewhat but black men are always targeted much more than anyone else sad to say. I never understood the "chip on the shoulder" until I married my husband and started experiencing some of these things along side him. Suprisingly he does not have a chip on his shoulder. He takes it all in stride and just tries to be the best husband and Father that he can. He is so easygoing I love it. It keeps my hot head in check! ha ha. I am all about learning from the bad and changing it to good. That is my hope with my writing, one story at a time, one person at a time. I am a very patient woman!

Thanks for your comments!

Amy

Anonymous said...

You have mellowed somewhat on this event - I can remember a time when you (and the rest of us) were boycotting this store and now you don't even name them! Anyway, this incident still pisses me off and I have shared it with many people who have told me that things are good and problems with how black men are treated don't exist much anymore. I am constantly amazed by Jamie's ability to "turn the other cheek".

Lori

Lori

Amy said...

Hey Sis,

I haven't really mellowed on it at all. I guess you can say time heals wounds so to speak. I still have not stepped foot in those stores nor has Tatiana ever been to a Toys R Us in her entire life. Probably the only kid in the US that hasn't! I didn't mention it because I don't feel the store is really the story...it is the people that worked there and the police.....in otherwords stereotypes that people have that turn events into horrible situations. Just like what happened with the professor, the cop, and Obama a couple of weeks ago. If a white man had been trying to get into his house and the police were called I can guarantee you once he said he lived there and for sure once he showed ID, that incident never, ever would have happened. It has not changed at all. Here we are almost 15 years after it happened to us (on a much bigger scale) and it is still happening today. I will never ever forget walking out of the store and seeing 12 cops with guns drawn and then my husband cuffed laying in the middle of the parking lot. Also the little boy that looked at Jamie laying there and said to his Mom, "Mommy what did the bad man do?" It was just too much to write down and now here I am writing it! =) There was so much to the story and blog posts just are not long enough to cover it all. So now more is covered here. =) Love ya...A.