Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families


‘When you fit the description’

charles belk - beverly hills

Here's yet another example of a highly "respectable" African American man being stopped by the police in Beverly Hills, California, precisely because he 'fit the description'.  On Friday afternoon (August 22), Charles Belk was stopped by Beverly Hills police officers because they suspected his involvement in a reported bank robbery.

The problem, of course, is that he didn't 'fit the description' after all. Unfortunately, and typically it would seem, the officers were reluctant to even review the footage from the bank, which eventually revealed that he really didn't fit the description.

I'm sharing this because it's yet another case of a Black person being racially profiled, and treated dismissively by police officers for hours, until they finally realized their mistake and let him go.  Belk describes his experience in more detail via his Facebook page, and reprinted at Daily Kos.  It's another tragic example of Black folks of all stripes - including those very successful and 'respectable' by this society's standards, who are subject to similar kinds of racial profiling and mistreatment by law enforcement.

I still feel compelled to refer folks to a previous article and post arguing that this sort of treatment is unacceptable, whether the person on the receiving end is "respectable" or not in the eyes of folks within this larger American society. Everyone is entitled to due process, and should be completely free from the nonsensical profiling and brutality that too often passes for policing with Black and brown communities.

This madness has to end!  And only we can make that happen!


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