Black people cannot even take out the trash without being harassed by police

I’ve worked in restaurants from the age of 16 on. In that time, I have performed mundane tasks such as scrubbing floors, sweeping, and mopping. I’ve also taken out the trash–a lot. I’m trying to imagine what it would be like to be arrested for trespassing while taking out the trash not once, not twice, but 62 times. I don’t know what that’s like, but unfortunately Earl Sampson of Miami Gardens, FL does:

Miami Gardens, Fla., convenience store owner Alex Saleh decided he’d try. He’d become vexed at what he saw as police harassment of his employees and even his customers.

So he installed surveillance cameras, with the specific intention of watching the detectives.

He’d become frustrated, you see, about the possibly not coincidental number of times that his employee, Earl Sampson, had been stopped and questioned by police officers — 258 times over a four-year period does seem a little like overkill. These included 100 searches and 56 jailings. As for convictions, well, they were only for marijuana possession.

Saleh told the Miami Herald it seemed odd that Sampson had been arrested 62 times for trespassing, when the vast majority of offenses were outside the very same Quickstop.

That would be the Quickstop where Sampson worked.

How the hell do you arrest someone for trespassing on the grounds of the business they work at? Could it be some racial bias on the part of the arresting officers? No, that can’t be it. If you ask a police officer, they’ll say “I’m not racist”, and we know they’ve examined their beliefs to ensure they hold no conscious or subconscious stereotypes about People of Color. It must be something else. That would be sarcasm, btw.

Earl Sampson is not the only Miami Gardens resident who has been harassed by the MGPD:

In the summer of 2010, a young black man was stopped and questioned by police on the streets of Miami Gardens, Florida. According to the report filled out by the officer, he was “wearing gray sweatpants, a red hoodie and black gloves” giving the police “just cause” to question him. In the report, he was labeled a “suspicious person.”

He was an 11-year-old boy on his way to football practice.

A Fusion investigation has found that he was just one of 56,922 people who were stopped and questioned by Miami Gardens Police Department (MGPD) between 2008 and 2013. That’s the equivalent of more than half of the city’s population.

Not one of them was arrested.

It was all part of the city’s sweeping “stop and frisk” style policy that may be unparalleled in the nation.

According to a review of 99,980 “field contact” reports, they were stopped, written up and often identified as “suspicious” — but just like the 11-year-old boy — the encounter was recorded in a public database, and they were let go.

Thousands more were arrested after being stopped by the police, raising the total number of people ensnared by the policy to 65,328 during the five-year period.

“I have never seen a police department that has taken the approach that every citizen in that city is a suspect. I’ve described it as New York City stop-and-frisk on steroids.” said Miami-Dade County Public Defender Carlos Martinez.

Last year, a Miami Herald report exposed how the MGPD repeatedly stopped and arrested employees and customers of a local convenience store including, Earl Sampson, who was stopped more than 200 times.

Fusion’s analysis of more than 30,000 pages of field contact reports, shows how aggressive and far-reaching the police actions were. Some residents were stopped, questioned and written up multiple times within minutes of each other, by different officers. Children were stopped by police in playgrounds. Senior citizens were stopped and questioned near their retirement home, including a 99-year-old man deemed to be “suspicious.” Officers even wrote a report identifying a five-year-old child as a “suspicious person.”

Fusion’s Investigation also found evidence that some field contact reports may have been falsified. There were many instances were multiple reports were filed just minutes apart – all claiming to stop the same person. Other reports claimed a person was stopped on the streets by police, when in fact, they were actually in jail at the time.

Two officers from the MGPD told Fusion that high-ranking department officials gave them orders to “bring in the numbers” by conducting stops and arrests. One officer said he was ordered to stop all black males between 15 and 30 years of age.

Nope. No racism or racial bias to see here folks. Just keep walking.

{advertisement}
Black people cannot even take out the trash without being harassed by police
{advertisement}
The Orbit is still fighting a SLAPP suit! Help defend freedom of speech, click here to find out more and donate!