I was going to post this video last night, but I was so angry after witnessing this, I knew I needed to calm down before I shared this interaction my fiance and I witnessed in DC.
So last night, my fiance and I went out to dinner near the convention center in DC.
As we were leaving, we noticed law enforcement and Secret Service get in to position as the President was getting ready to leave.
When this happens, people that are standing nearby are required to stay on the sidewalk until the motorcade leaves. It’s pretty standard in DC and frankly the novelty is lost because it happens all the time and causes delays as people try to get around pretty frequently.
We watched as the President and all seemingly endless vehicles exited the convention center and presumably returned to the White House.
My fiance filmed the procession from my phone as it was the last time The President was going to attend the Congressional Black Caucus gala.
About a minute after the motorcade had left- and was completely out of sight and sound, the police officers blocking off the side walk had not yet signaled for traffic to resume as normal and an employee who was trying to get to work inside of the convention center approached the officer (it is important to note here that the employee had a bicycle and approached the officer respectfully, slowly and in absolutely no manner that could be presumed threatening in any capacity).
Almost immediately the officer pounced on this dude trying to relive his high school football glory days and yelled at the man to get off the bike.
As the man attempted to get off his bike, he was trying to keep his balance and stay on his feet as the officer kept pushing him yelling “Don’t do it” (“don’t do what” is a question that deserves to be asked because he was doing EXACTLY as instructed- getting off his bike- as a man who weighed significantly more was aggressively pushing him while he was still partially on his bike-).
As the crowd that was there watched, the man vented his frustration as the officer that was just shoving him stood silently, tight jaw and muscles flexed -A stance I have seen from people in the past that were or were about to be engaged in a fist fight-
As my fiance ended her filming of the incident another police officer (the bald one) asked her asked her in a threatening manner “Are you done?” And as he realized that she and I were together, proceeded to engage me in a stare down (again, one that I have seen between people about to engage in a fight).
Once we realized the man was not going to be harmed further or arrested, we left and went home.
Wearing a badge doesn’t give you the right to relieve yourself from having basic human decency or from having compassion for another individual. There were 10,000 other less aggressive and threatening ways this situation could have been handled, but this officer chose to escalate tension through violence in this situation.
I choose to share this because changes need to be made and officers like this need to be held accountable.
We talk about (and these days throw money at) police/ community relation improvement projects frequently, but time and time again, actions speak louder than words.
This man was just asking the officer if he could get to his job and was met with excessive force- and his question unanswered.
We’re years overdue for change.