Updated Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 1:32 p.m. EDT: Police have arrested a Boston man who was caught on video aggressively confronting a black female motorcyclist in “his” neighborhood.
The Dorchester Reporter writes that 54 year-old Paul Sheehan was arraigned in Dorchester District Court on Monday on a disorderly conduct charge. Boston police are currently investigating whether to bring additional hate crime charges against Sheehan, according to Officer Steven McNulty of the BPD’s Civil Rights Division.
According to the Reporter, Sheehan confronted NeNe Judge’Mayo and another black motorcyclist after a car crash caused a detour on the street they were driving down. As they waited to figure out how to get around the crash scene (police had already arrived and blocked off the area), Sheehan confronted the pair and let loose a racist tirade, telling them to get out of his neighborhood and accusing them of trying to shoot him.
A cop eventually intervened and told Sheehan to go home or he would be arrested. According to police, after the two black motorcyclists left the scene, Sheehan returned and was seen walking up the street, repeatedly yelling “fuck that nigger.”
Sheehan is due back in court in October.
According to NeNe Judge’Mayo, all she was trying to do was park her motorcycle when an unidentified white man came and started harassing her for being in his neighborhood.
In a video posted on her Facebook account last Friday, Judge’Mayo writes that the confrontation happened in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Mass. According to her, as soon as she pulled her motorcycle over, the burly white man—the kind of dude who looks like he’s auditioning for a role-playing Matt Damon’s belligerent, racist uncle—approached her and shouting at her, telling her to get out of his neighborhood.
Fair warning: There’s a whole lot of Boston accent happening in the video. Gird your loins, and possibly your eardrums, too.
“You’re not bringing this fucking shit into my neighborhood,” the dude, whom we shall now refer to as Dumb Brady, on account of his New England Patriots collared shit, says.
“I’m not being fucking shot,” he continues.
“With what? I don’t have a gun,” Judge’Mayo responds—but it’s clear Dumb Brady isn’t listening.
“This is my fucking neighborhood! You bring this fucking shit into my neighborhood? No!”
He then threatens to knock out Judge’Mayo, who dares him to do it.
“I can ride my bike wherever the fuck I want to,” she shouts back.
It’s unclear who called the cops, but flashing police lights in the video show a cop car was present throughout the recorded argument. Either way, when the officer approaches the pair, Dumb Brady clearly thinks (as many white people in these videos do) that he can simply sic the cops on the black person of his choosing.
“Do you live in the neighborhood!” He shouts at her again. When the cop pushes back on him, telling him to go home, Dumb Brady beseeches the cop, “Ask her, ask her.”
“I don’t care where she lives. It’s none of my business where she lives,” the cop shouts, walking Dumb Brady back.
I have to tell you, this is the part where it gets really delicious. Like, the first bite into the cream filling delicious. Like, syrup that got on your bacon delicious. Cool breeze on your neck delicious. Because Dumb Brady cannot fathom that (1) this officer isn’t champing at the bit to harass and arrest this woman and (2) that he’s been identified as the real threat.
As the officer walks Dumb Brady back to his house, Dumb Brady lets loose a stream of overtly racist invectives. He threatens to come back out if she’s still there. He shouts, “You’re hurting us!” and hollers about the mortgage he pays. At one point, he even tries to go back to Judge’Mayo, who has stood in the same spot on the street the entire time, before the officer stops him.
“Sir, you go back down there. I’m going to lock you up. Go home,” he says.
“Fucking animals. Animals!” Dumb Brady yells in return.
What’s striking about the video is how quickly the man devolves from his pretense (not wanting a motorcycle in his neighborhood) to the root of the matter. He assumes she’ll shoot him, or that she has anything to do with a shooting that happened previously. He asserts his right of dominion over the neighborhood and calls attention to the mortgage he pays. That she or people like her are ruining the neighborhood is more than implied; he tells her that she’s “hurting us”—raising the question of who “us” is, along with referring to her as part of a collective of “fucking animals.”
The incident recalls one from earlier this summer in Illinois, where a belligerent white man followed a woman wearing a Puerto Rico flag shirt around a park. As with that video, there are times when the level of aggression displayed makes you fear for Judge’Mayo’s safety; but the crucial difference between this incident and the one in Illinois is that the officer actually de-escalates the situation (that is, does his job).
Boston’s racial issues have appeared in the news again this week on account of recent reports that schools in the city have experienced intense “re-segregation.” The city has also ranked high among the most racially segregated urban areas in the country for the last few years.