Speak On It: Why I’m Afraid Of The Police

man stressed in car

Growing up as a Black youth in the inner city there were times when I was pulled over by the police for a traffic violation. I quickly realized that it was not out of the ordinary to be mistreated or man-handled by police officers abusing their authority. This could occur even during a simple traffic stop.

I quickly learned that the sooner I complied with the officer’s request or commands, the sooner I could be on my way. My friends and I knew that responding in a non-complaint manner or questioning their authority was proven time and time again to be a bad choice to make. The anticipation of abusive behavior was proven time and again. It was pretty much the norm in those days.

A recent survey, conducted by the Associated Press – NORC, revealed that half of African-Americans, including 6 in 10 Black men, said that they personally had been treated unfairly by the police because of their race, compared with only 3 percent of whites. Their research came as the Micheal Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, approached its first anniversary.