Editor’s note: These are excerpts from a longer piece.
DENVER, CO — I want to take a moment to talk about the police, to at least challenge some conventions.
I have been detained by the police eight times in the last two years. I have been followed by the police with my six-year-old daughters three blocks for no reason except that, “We know who you are.” I had to move out of Denver because the police follow me. I was recently arrested and am currently on probation for caring for the “poor”—police had captured 70 body cam videos of me as “state’s evidence” in my trial. I was helping homeless people.
I’ve been detained by police for being near a Black man. In Atlanta 20 years ago, I was in a Ford Explorer, again with a Black man, and 10 “Red dog” police pulled us over and we had eight guns pointed on us.
Maybe my second worst experience of police was walking up on a baseball field and seeing one of my 12-year-old Little League players in a choke hold by the police just along the dugout before a baseball practice. Last week I saw with my own eyes a police officer kick a seventeen-year-old girl recovering from cancer at 6 A.M., sleeping outside. It was freezing cold. Last night I was detained and briefly interrogated by the police in rural Colorado for driving with two homeless friends. I was the only one who had ID and that is the only reason we are not in jail. The privilege of legal identity!
I am not a Black man. I have no idea the state of constant fear it must be like to be a target, but trust that I have reason to scream FTP!
Still I do not hate police—the police work for a system they are sworn to protect. It is the system that is evil. The police take orders from the mayor of Denver. These are your cops! If you don’t like the system—vote, resist, come out with me and get arrested. Denver is a police state. The state is theoretically led by “we the people.” It is not.
I am a citizen of a city that does not yet exist! That we still have to create!! We have been sleeping. Wake up! Rise up! The world is waiting for you. What are you waiting for?