There is an all-too-frequent scenario that repeats itself throughout the United States: innocent melanin individuals are accused of stealing or breaking into their own property. We've seen individuals attacked and detained, or sometimes murdered and killed, for attempting to break into their own automobiles or move into their own houses. While the majority of these victims of racial profiling are adults, as the following instance indicates, the victim of racial profiling is sometimes a youngster.
Jamir Bradford, 12, was riding his bike in his neighbourhood late last month like numerous children do around the nation. Police say they responded to a report of a stolen bicycle and immediately targeted the boy, alleging he "matched the description."
However, according to the boy's mother and the absence of charges, the bike was never stolen. Rather than that, on Feb. 20, two males in a pickup vehicle approached Jamir and accused him of stealing the bike.
Rather than merely interrogating the boy, roughly a dozen police surrounded him. The encounter infuriated spectators, who encircled the officers in support of the youngster. One of the onlookers started filming the police roughhousing the youngster.
"He's terrified! He is terrified, he is terrified. In the footage, a passerby is heard saying, "That young guy is afraid."
"For riding his own bicycle, he was detained, handcuffed, and charged with robbery and violence," the boy's mother, Melani Brown, told WESH 2.
The boy was then detained and kept until his accusers returned to the scene. When the accusers came, police examined the serial number on Jamir's bike and discovered it was certainly his - a gift from his mother for Christmas.
Though Jamil was eventually returned to his mother, Brown claims that the mental wounds have left him traumatised — particularly after Jamil observed one of the officers with his hand on his pistol.
"He said, 'Mommy, I wanted to flee when I saw the police with his hand on his pistol.' 'For what?' I inquired. "You committed no wrong," Brown said.
Brown has subsequently filed a complaint with the agency and retained the services of an attorney. She said that she feels Jamil was charged with a crime despite being the victim.
John Barnett, a national civil rights activist, told WESH that a local lawyer he is contacting has informed him that they are unable to locate any charges in juvenile court.
"How do charges just vanish?" John Barnett was inquiring.
The agency said that they are now conducting an investigation into the event.