12-year-old Black boy arrested for riding on the back of a bike in Evanston, IL
The police force in Evanston, IL. has earned a questionable reputation after arresting a PhD student for “breaking into” his own car last year. They’re off to a rocky start if they’re looking to improve that image, however, after arresting a 12-year-old who was riding on the back of a bike that ran a red light.“I realize and recognize we need police. But why are we arresting a 12-year old?” said Robert Bady, whose son Iain was arrested, placed in a police wagon and taken to a police station.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Bady spoke to the Evanston City Council to find answers. He wondered what could’ve justified the officer’s actions that day.
According to Iain, he and another friend were riding on the front and back of another friends BMX bike when he rode into traffic and caused two cars to slam on their brakes and honk their horns. An officer then followed them into Starbucks and arrested him, but not the friend who was controlling the bike. Instead of calling his sister who was also downtown, he was told he’d be taken into custody to wait for his parents to get him for the station.
“I’m not saying my son wasn’t doing anything wrong by riding on the back of a bike across the street,” Bady said. He went on to say that the officer simply talking to the kids would’ve been more appropriate.
“My son wasn’t kicking, he wasn’t shooting, he wasn’t spitting on an officer. He was just standing,” he continued.
Local aldermen spoke out in support of Bady and his family.
“I could not imagine in my worst nightmares having to deal with these circumstances,” Ald. Peter Braithwaite said. “Under no circumstances does this begin to live up to Evanston standards.”
Meanwhile, Robert Bady wants to open up a conversation about how Black citizens of Evanston have a different experience than the rest.