Blog

Young, Black and Cuffed

In light of recent murders by police of unarmed Black men like Trayvon Martin, Jonathan Ferrell and Michael Brown, the sight of Ty Turner, a young Black man, being handcuffed and wrestled to the ground sent some onlookers into a near-panic.  This assault, however, didn't take place in a dark alley in a seedy, low-income neighborhood, however.  And Mr. Turner was not a young miscreant up to no good. 

This violation happened on a sunny afternoon, in a park in uptown Charlotte, during a peaceful Labor Day rally as Ty Turner was posting flyers on car windshields.  Were they offensive flyers?  Flyers advertising a possible drug business or criminal activity?  No.  They were political flyers for the electoral campaign of a judge.  Ty, a college graduate, activist, lawyer, former law-enforcement officer and former candidate for Senate wasn't your typical young Black man either.  

Now, we're left wondering how it's possible for a young man, posing no threat, engaging in the political process, to wind up in handcuffs in the back of a police car.  We also wonder why that car didn't go directly to the jail for processing but, instead, lingered in three separate parking lots for nearly an hour before Ty was unceremoniously released with no charges.  

More importantly, every young Black man must wonder, if this can happen to a man like Ty, with everything going for him, in broad daylight, at a rally...what does that mean for me?