Racial Tensions

It was a bright, sunny day. As I walked down the street I saw many others staring me down but thought nothing of it. I couldn't even begin to imagine what happened next.

Just before I reached the end of the street my brothers black Mercedes speed past followed by 6 cop cars. One of the cars stopped next to me. The officer asked me what I was doing walking up this street so I turned and pointed to my house saying, "I just came from there officer.” The next thing I know I’m being held down on the cold, damp concrete with my arms pulled behind me. As I was loaded into the car I could hear screams and gunshots in the distance. I didn’t know it at the time but those screams were my brothers as bullets penetrated his flesh.

When we arrived at the station I was led into an interview room where 8 armed officers were waiting for me. The first question I was asked was why I was in the neighborhood, they found me in. I said I lived there, and they all burst out laughing. One of the armed officers said, “Yeah right, pigs like you live in the slums of the city not the gated communities.” another exclaimed “ I bet she was told to watch the house for when the owners returned while her brother took the Mercedes for a spin.” I was upset. Very upset. I got up and said I had to use the bathroom. Next thing I know there is a sharp pain in my thigh, and then another one in my ribs. I cried out, and an officer of colour runs into the room. He grabs me and takes me to the hospital.

All the officers involved were put on trial for the murder of an 18-year old and the assault of a 10-year-old. Any white officers were stood down for 3 months, and then allowed to return to work but the officer of colour was sentenced to life imprisonment just for being present. It didn't matter that the officer hadn’t fired a gun, he hadn’t even touched one. The fact his skin was dark gave the jury all the reason they needed to lock him up. He would never see the outside world again.

And so the racial tension continues to grow.

-by Maddy watts

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