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St. Paul: Man arrested and tased for “Sitting While Black”

That’s literally what happened, here.  This man was arrested because he was sitting down in a public area, and was black.  Apparently, that makes some people uncomfortable.

The victim, Christopher Lollie, recorded his interaction with the police. At some point, he drops his phone and the video goes black while still recording the audio.

“Why do I have to let you know who I am?” the man asks the first female officer at the beginning of the video. “I don’t have to let you know who I am if I haven’t broken any laws.”

From the following dialogue, it appears the police were called by a store clerk, who was upset over the man sitting in front of his store. The man in the video tells the officer he was sitting in front of the store for 10 minutes as he waited for his kids to get out of school, and that the area is public and he had a right to sit there.

“The problem was —” the female officer begins.

“The problem is I’m black,” the man fires back. “It really is, because I’m not sitting there with a group of people. I’m sitting there by myself. By myself, not causing a problem.”

Eventually a second male officer approaches the man in the video and attempts to restrain him.

“I’ve got to go get my kids,” the man tells the second officer, pulling his arm away. “Please don’t touch me.”

“You’re going to go to jail then,” the second officer says.

“I’m not doing anything wrong,” the man replies.

At this point, both officers grab the man.

“Come on brother,” the man says, “This is assault.”

“I’m not your brother,” the second officer replies. “Put your hands behind your back otherwise it’s going to get ugly.”

Eventually the officers start to cuff the man and he drops his cellphone and the video goes black.

“I haven’t done anything wrong!” we hear the man yell. “Can somebody help me? That’s my kids, right there! My kids are right there!”

“Put your hands behind your back!” the male officer screams.

We hear the flicker of a Taser and the man screams out. As they move away from the cellphone, the man continues to plea to passersby to help him.

In the distance the scene calms down and the man continues to explain to the officers that he still hasn’t broken any laws, that he stayed calm, didn’t curse and wasn’t attempting to flee — making cuffing him and tasering him unnecessary.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m a working man. I take care of my kids. And I get this?” we hear him say. “And you tase me. For what? I don’t have any weapons. You’re the ones with the weapons here.”

{TC Daily Planet}

I’m so sick of this. Sick of it. Black man, LITERALLY just sitting down. And white police officers end up tasing and arresting him? In front of his kids? Disgusting human beings.

Christopher has since said that the charges have been dropped against him, but THAT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Those cops shouldn’t have jobs anymore. At all. They profiled that man and used excessive force.

Here is a comment on the original article:

The way it should have gone: “Say, could you move on, the store owner is kinda…” “Officer, I am waiting for my kids, they should be here in a little while.” “OK, I’ll talk to the store owner, sorry to have bothered you.”

^^ THAT’S IT!!!! That was the ONLY reasonable response.

This comment received a reply that said…

And how do we truly know he was waiting for his kids. Just because he says he is. Then this is how it should’ve gone. Sir we got call about you hanging out in front of this store any reason for it? Him; I’m waiting to get my kids from New Horizon. Cop: Can we get some ID so we know who we are talking with and my partner can go to New Horizon and check to see if your kid(s) are on their way. 

^^ This guy’s name is JM Griffin on Facebook, if you care.

I responded to Mr. Griffin:

JM Griffin You have some nerve. How dare you? EVEN IF he wasn’t waiting for his kids, HE HAS THE RIGHT TO SIT ON A PUBLIC BENCH!!

Suggesting that because he is sitting, the cops should ask him for ID? And I just LOVE how you automatically jump to the assumption that this black man was lying. To the point where you want the cops to go to the school and verify that his kids are there? 

This man was doing NOTHING illegal. He was sitting down. Period. By himself. Period. The RIGHT thing to do was for the police go tell the ignorant store clerk that you cannot call the police because someone is sitting on a bench. 

Willful ignorance is what you’re displaying, here. Unbelievable.

Ugh. Disgusting and vile human beings.

 Here’s the video:

{featured image: TC Daily Planet}