A video of a man standing up for his right to be outside in his Chicago neighborhood at night is quickly going viral.
In the video, a group of people appear to be casually hanging out on the sidewalk as two police officers pull up and approach, ordering the group to disperse.
The man recording, seemingly tired of police harassment, refuses to back down while asking the officers questions and providing commentary.
“I live here. Wait a minute- I live right around the corner. Where am I supposed to go if I just want to be outside? Let me know. If I just want to be outside- in my neighborhood, where am I supposed to be?” The man asks after being told to disperse by an officer.
“Your home, sir. In front of your house.” The officer responds.
“What you’re saying is in American a black person can’t just be outside?” The man asks.
“You’re saying that,” the officer states, despite having just told the man that he needed to go home to be outside in his neighborhood.
“No, you’re telling me that,” the man recording asserts.
The officer proceeds to explain that the area is a high traffic area for narcotics and crime, and therefore all residents of the community must pay the price and be under police scrutiny for simply being outdoors.
“Every black neighborhood is a ‘high crime area,'” the man states. “So, what you’re telling me, is just because we’re outside, at look at this- on a main street,” he continues, “you’re telling me we can’t be outside?”
One of the cops then explains that they are allegedly “getting calls” about the group loitering outside. The man then points out that they are outside a store, which is open, with customers inside.
The officers then move around the corner, and the man filming says “they’re about to try to kill one of us!”
“This is our neighborhood! We live here! You’re telling us we can’t be where we live!”
“You have a problem.”
“No! You all have a problem, you all are killing us in the streets, thats my problem! For nothing! You all are killing us in the streets for nothing! That’s my problem!”
On Monday, we also reported on another Chicago police officer caught on camera telling a young black man that “Mike Brown got what he deserved,” and that he has “no choice but to fucking pull over black people.”
The police have been consistently blaming the media for the distrust that exists between communities and police, but perhaps it is time they take a good hard look at how they interact with the people they have “sworn to protect and serve.”
Especially in “high-crime areas,” which are undefined areas in the United States where the Supreme Court has determined the Constitution can be suspended because the standards for reasonable suspicion are lower than in other not-so-high crime areas.