I didn’t edit this. This is straight off the top. This has simmered in my head all day. Had to vent…
I grew up in Queens NY. When I was 11 years old my father sold the two co-ops him and my mother bought, moved us to LeFrak City and told me he was building us a house in Long Island. I was all about Long Island. I hated LeFrak. It smelled like piss, there was shit in the stairwells (turns out it wasn’t gross dry shit…it was dutch guts) and because of the neighborhood I could no longer go hoop at the park. My brother, who actually was my cousin, who actually isn’t related to my family at all (MY FAMILY IS WILD) got a gun pulled on him in JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL for his crispy Jordan IVs and his Chicago Bull Starter jacket. One day walking home from the bus stop, I got stomped out and a knife pulled on me for no reason at all. It was then and there that I decided that I needed to be more of a goon. Luckily I hit a growth spurt right before 8th grade, and next thing you know I was the one running little kid’s pockets. I had always been a smart dude so I was completely polarizing to teachers. I was an honor’s student that also bullied the fuck outta white kids with Lunchables and Dunkaroos. Suspension after suspension and a scare with the NYPD put me on a straight and narrow. I looked around LeFrak and the little bully I became and thought to myself “Word? This is your future? Living in the fucking hood and beating niggas up? Selling drugs? Nahhh kid. Go play football, go to college. Make some fucking money. Buy your mom a house.” That thought process at 13 led me to a good high school and eventually to NYU. Instead of young, black and incarcerated, I was young, black, arrest/warrant free with a 4 year degree from a top-tier university. Eventually this lead to forays into the Advertising and Entertainment world. I beat the odds that alot of young black men are faced with.
Yesterday around 11:30 PM, I left a friend’s apartment and headed to catch the L train. A ten hour work day had me drained to the core. All I wanted to do was sit down and crack open Michael Lewis’ “The Big Short”. L train comes hella quick. I get on it, find a seat ASAP and start in on a Beef Pattie, a Bill Simmons Podcast and a good fucking book. Three stops later I hit the 6th avenue stop where I transfer to the F train and ride 40 minutes back to Queens. I got on the last car. No seats. Move to the second car, no seats except at the end of the car. Homeless dude… RANK homeless dude just laid out on a group of seats, stinking up the entire car. I look thru the windows and see that the 3rd to last car is straight EMPTY. I walk thru, find a dope seat and relax. Before the door closes, a white dude in a gray hoody and a badge around his neck steps into the car and points at me. I look around like “No shot this dude pointing at me right?” Much to my chagrin, there isn’t a soul around that he could be talking to other then me. I take off my Senneheiser headphones and ask the Officer if he meant me, he said yes so I got up and walked over to him. He asked me to step out of the train, I obliged. He then goes to me, “Tell me what’s going on bro.” I laughed and told him that I just finished up a ten hour day at work and I was on the way home. He then asks me if I have any weed on me. I laughed and said I didn’t, then asked him what this was about. He says come over here, pointing to the train and shows me the don’t cross thru the cars sign. I said “Ohh, yea I apologize for that but as I said, I just worked a 10 hour day and I was looking for a seat. My apologies for that, I didn’t mean any disrespect.” Cop goes “You ever been arrested, lemme see a ID”. I show him my ID, tell him that I’ve never been arrested, he asked me if I went to school, I told him I graduated from NYU and now work as a Strategist at an Ad Agency. He once agin asked me if I had any weed on me. I told him that I had no drugs or paraphenelia on me, no guns and that I didn’t think I was breaking a law. He told me that he’d have to issue me a desk warrant, which in my mind was a ticket. I was pissed but I broke a dumb ass rule and the city gotta enforce dumb shit to make sure they can pay for shit. He told me that he was going to search my person now and then in front of the Sergeant. That’s when it clicked in my head.
Dude was really gonna bring me down to the station. Immediately I shut off cause there was no shot this was about me walking in between cars. Then I noticed another young black man being escorted down the platform in cuffs. In my head I’m thinking, out of all the stupid ass illegal shit I’ve done, there’s no shot they’re gonna put bracelets on me right? Dude takes out his cuffs and tells me he’s gonna do me a favor, wait till the train leaves the station and then cuff me up, search my belongings and take me to the precinct. I questioned if cuffs were really necessary. He told me that I was lucky he wasn’t taking me to Central Bookings and eventually the Tombs. I was fucking mortified. I move in silence my entire life, keep my nose clean, never get in trouble and as a tax=paying adult I get racially profiled and cuffs thrown on me. Dude cuffs me in front of 30+ people waiting for the F. Then I realize that I’m at the 23rd and 6th station, the same station that HALF MY FUCKING OFFICE TAKES THE SUBWAY FROM and I immediately shudder at the thought of a Partner from my agency walking in to the station. I was fucking pissed. For a half hour me and the other black dude stood there in handcuffs waiting for the transport to arrive. I cannot even explain the dirty ass looks I got. I’ve never felt the self-loathing that comes with people judging you as a criminal. DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO HAVE AN ITCHY FACE AND NOT BE ABLE TO SCRATCH IT CAUSE YOU HAVE HANDCUFFS ON?? Half hour goes by and the cop tells me the transport is upstairs. As he begins to take me on my perp-walk to the car, he apologizes for what’s going on, and said that this was to protect me. That if I wasn’t lying everything would be cool and I’d be on my way home in 15 minutes, that they had to stop people going between cars because of a rise in robberies. I asked him how arresting someone with no record, a college degree, and a full time job protected them from being mugged? He had no answer. I asked him if the real reason were his Quotas, apparently dude didn’t watch ‘The Wire’, cause that shit blew his fucking mind. He started to stammer and make excuses but luckily for him we got to the street pretty quick. He brings me around the back of the car and tells me to get in. I’d like to pause this story to tell you a little more about myself. I stand 6 foot 4 inches tall and weigh a healthy 320 pounds. I almost NEVER ride in the backseat due to space issues. Back to the corner of 23rd and 6th, I’m standing looking into a car where the other unlucky fuck who got caught SLEEPING with a foot on the seat… that’s right I got arrested last night for walking through a subway car and the other dude FELL ASLEEP and got arrested for his feet being on the seat. The cop driving told me that he wasn’t moving his chair up, it was already up that I’d have to figure it out. Anybody that has played sports with me can testify to my surprisingly agile and flexible movements but fitting my big fucking frame in half of the back of a police car??? It ended up with my feet facing forwards and my torso contorted like a motherfucker facing the window. I sat there for another 30 minutes. Cars driving past and people shaking their heads at me. A Mercedez E Class pulls up, rolls down their window and thanks the officer for everything, he responds with “Just doing my job”. Then he goes back to his convo about what kind of pizza he’s gonna buy when he drops me off at the tank. Eventually another car shows up and they put the other kid in there. My arresting officer hops in and begins complaining about the tattoo he got the day before, six hours in chair, his back hurt like a motherfucker apparently. Then he turned the convo to #OWS and how much OT he was getting paid, he was debating retirement but where else could he make $100k + this easy? When asked what his detail the following day was, he told the other officer that it didn’t matter, he was just going and getting that check.
Did I mention that the entire time we are driving down 7th avenue (fat shouts to Tha Carter… #RIP) ‘Oh What A Night’ is playing on the radio? Irony at it’s finest. We get to the precinct, and I’m put in a jail cell while they run my records. I’m reassured that 15 min later I’d be going home… as long as my record was clean. A half hour later my arresting officer tells me that I’m clean as a whistle. Holds up a piece of paper with my name printed on the top and thats it. I was happy to get out of there. Then he told me that he would start the paperwork now. 20 minutes later he comes to my cell and tells me it’s time for prints. I was so fucking confused. Why was I getting my prints and photos taken? Is this not a ticketable offense? Why was a NYPD officer spending 3 hours dealing with an upstanding citizen? 15 minutes later after this dude struggled to use a machine that he probably uses every fucking day he puts me back in the cell. As I sat there staring at my Queens fitted, Dunk His and Jordan Brand bookbag, I realized that all my shit INCLUDING my freedom could be taken away in a heartbeat. As I’ m sitting there I realize that these fiends NEVER EVER read me my Miranda rights. They didn’t offer me a phone call until I asked for one. My rights as an American citizen were fucking violated. The taxes that are TAKEN from my paycheck just paid for an hour in a cell, the salary of four officers and the gas that was used to transport me. 2:20 rolls around and dude opens my cell and gives me something to sign, as I’m reading it the officer asks me what I’m doing. I tell him that I do not ever sign anything without reading it first, he goes ‘Whoa, good idea”. I can’t even explain the emotions coursing thru my blood as this dumbass told me that in like 15 minutes I’d be free to go home and sleep. Finally I’m released and dude apologizes for all the bullshit I had to go thru. I left the station, bought two delicious beverages and hopped a cab back to Queens. It took 24 years but the NYPD finally got this nigga in their system. I’ve always had a general disdain for the NYPD because I’ve witnessed them mistreat my peers growing up. I saw reports on TV of unnecessary force. I’ve read article after article about how corrupt the cops are. Last night I was treated like a criminal because I was young and black. I will never forget how I was treated. Never. I find it disgusting that this is how the police, who have sworn to ‘Serve and Protect’ operate. It’s a microcosm of how fucked our society is. We literally have a gang of imbeciles running around with guns, some of them undercover and these goons will take your loved ones and belongings away and lock you in a cell with monsters. It’s 2011 and we still have racist cops. I clowned on the #OWS fiends for screaming ‘SHAME’ at the NYPD, and last night all I wanted to do was look at the officers and say ‘Shame on you for what you’re doing right now’.