A recent Facebook video shows a Black man in Virginia being racially targeted by “nosy neighbors” and Arlington police. It’s yet another alleged case of white people using the local public safety as a technical support mechanism.
The victim, Marlon Crutchfield, of Fairfax, Virginia, posted the video after some consideration about a visit to a home he was contracted to photograph for a house listing. The footage is shown with the following caption:
"I wasn’t goin to post this but, after a few days to think it over I’ve decided to share my experience. Over the years i’ve had several run-ins with nosy neighbors concerned that a black man was parked in their neighborhood. Usually it’s 'can I help you' and I reply wit a quick 'no'. Then it’s what are you taking pictures for.. I never respond to that one. It’s simply none of their business. Well... the other day I was in Arlington parked waiting for an appointment when a man came over and asked me if I needed any help, of course I didn’t . I informed the gentleman that I didn’t need any assistance. Honestly - I was offended. Every black person knows what this means... I am retired from the US Army with a Bronze Star. I am also a former Federal Law Enforcement Officer. I’ve taught my kids through the years to be good citizens to be good people in general but it seems as though things change slowly..."
The caption continued: "After the gentleman didn't get the response he expected, he reached out to a few other neighbors, one of them called the police. 10 mins later, I was pulled out of the house where my appointment was and interrogated by Arlington's finest... now, over the years, I've photographed thousands of homes, celebrities, notable politicians (Obama's home), as well as regular-priced homes. NEVER have I been so embarrassed. It was hurtful and demeaning in so many ways. The video that follows captures some of the emotion and frustration I felt during this situation. It could've gotten a lot worse... we've seen this many times as of late. It's time for change."
In the video, he tells the officer: "I don't need to show you ID because I have not created any crime. Do you have a right to be, right to see, right to seize? You don't have any of those things."
The officers start backtracking on why they showed up. The white woman alongside Crutchfield says she wasn't questioned at all by the "nosy neighbors." She, in turn, interprets the call and police response as racist, which the officers deny.
Realizing Crutchfield understands his rights and understanding their appearance on site looks awful, the police recede.
"That's definitely racist, I'm telling you," she says, as Crutchfield goes into the home to finish his work.
One comment from Sapna Yathiraj hit home: "I'm just glad you are okay and hope that APD (and all other departments in the US) can continue to learn and become better at policing our citizens in a fair and civil way. More importantly, how do we continue to educate our neighbors that not every black person sitting in a car is a threat? Why call the police?"
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H/T Blue Virginia