You may have heard the running joke that “D.W.B.” a.k.a. driving while black is basically a criminal offense in some places. Apparently, the same goes for walking, as a video showed a black man in Edina, MN being arrested for walking in the street.
A video which was posted to YouTube last week showed seven minutes of the altercation, which shows an officer holding the man by his arm and escorting him to his vehicle. Eventually, the man takes off his coat and shirt and is handcuffed.
“You’re walking down the middle of the street,” the officer can be heard saying.
“I’m on the damn white line!” the man replies. “You can’t just put your hands on me like that!”
The Edina Police Station released a statement regarding the incident on their Facebook page, citing what happened before the recording started to explain why the officer felt the need to use force in apprehending the man.
“Recognizing the risk to the safety of the public, the officer pulled in behind the man with his lights and an audible signal in an attempt to advise him to get out of the roadway,” read the statement. “The man, who was wearing headphones, turned and looked at the officer and continued walking in the lane of traffic.”
“The man did not stop and was defiant,” it continued. “It was after that point that the recording began. The officer smelled alcohol on the man’s breath during the incident. A breathalyzer later confirmed the presence of alcohol.”
Minnesota’s NAACP released its own statement regarding the incident, recalling how this could’ve quickly turned into another instance of an unarmed black person being killed by a police officer.
“Watching that video and seeing a black man being manhandled and emasculated by Edina Police was not only painful and humiliating, it was a vivid reminder that blacks are still too-often seen as second class citizens in the State of Minnesota and in this nation,” said Nekima Levy-Pounds, civil rights attorney and President of the Minneapolis NAACP. “At any time, our rights can be violated by police and then various laws and policies are used to justify their conduct, rather than to hold them accountable. It is sad to say, but that man in the video could easily have been the next #PhilandoCastile or #JamarClark, two unarmed black men who were killed by police within the last year. When will we say #EnoughisEnough?”
The man in the video was released after 45 minutes in custody.
Photo Credit: Twitter