You've come to an old part of SW Online. We're still moving this and other older stories into our new format. In the meanwhile, click here to go to the current home page.

"Cuffs were put on so tight that his wrists bled"
Seeing the cops in action

September 13, 2002 | Page 4

Dear Socialist Worker,

I am 16 years old. This August, I visited my father in Minneapolis and learned firsthand about police brutality.

I was having dinner with two friends, and we had just paid the check when we noticed a squad car had pulled up. Two white male cops went straight over to a homeless Black man, flipped him against a wall and immediately handcuffed him.

My friends and I were disgusted by this obvious racial profiling. One of my friends expressed his disgust by yelling to the police, "You cops are ruining this neighborhood." It wasn't a threat or profanity--just a simple expression of his thoughts.

We had already started to walk down an alley when we saw a cop car behind us. Having just seen a couple of cops rough up a man, we jokingly said to each other, "Run!"

We then ran several steps, not thinking that the car was for us. But apparently, the cops had found my friend's comment to be worthy enough to send a car to arrest us.

The cop jumped out of his car and threatened to shoot us if we didn't stop; we hit the ground spread eagle. He had his finger on the trigger and aimed at our heads.

As we lay helpless, he threatened to shoot us for causing him to run. More cops arrived, and ordered "him" up (without making a distinction).

I started to rise and was immediately slammed back into the gravel and broken glass. They picked up my friend and slammed him against a wall. He was threatened, insulted and cursed at. Cuffs were put on so tight that his wrists bled.

When I was allowed to go, I went to the squad car to find out where he was to be taken. I was then threatened with arrest "for interfering with an arrest" (for asking questions).

My friend was released in an hour after being questioned, but is now awaiting charges for "disturbing the peace" and possibly "interfering with police business."

Mathew Hanson, Washington, D.C.

Home page | Back to the top