23-year-old Samir Ahmed was just helping a neighbor in his own community…until the police got involved and arrested him.
On the morning of Nov. 17, someone called police to help a drunk man who was in and out of consciousness in a Silver Spring, Maryland, community. In the interim, Ahmed graciously helped the inebriated man home.
After safely dropping off his neighbor—who was drunk and repeatedly falling down—Ahmed said he noticed numerous police cars and firetrucks gathered near his driveway.
Someone had called emergency services to aid the drunk man, Montgomery County police told him. Ahmed explained he’d already walked the man home. An officer then asked him for the man’s exact address, and Ahmed was reluctant to share it, telling The Washington Post on Tuesday that he felt the situation had already been resolved.
Of course, that wasn’t good enough for police, who ultimately detained Ahmed and pinned him to the hood of a car with his hands behind his back.
A man who can be heard saying he was the one to call the police recorded the altercation, in which other neighbors can be heard screaming at the police, explaining what happened, and asking why they were arresting an increasingly upset Ahmed, who also said he was in pain. At one point, the officer forcefully pushes him back down into the car and tells him to “Calm down,” which, I don’t know, guy—there seems to be a conflict between your actions and words.
Instead of answering the bystanders’ questions, police repeatedly told them to leave if they weren’t involved.
“We’re in the middle of something,” one officer helpfully explained, continuing to pin Ahmed down.
“Do I look white to you?” another cop quipped, putting herself between bystanders accusing the police of racist behavior and a still-pinned Ahmed.
Maybe they don’t understand why people would be reluctant to leave an innocent black person with the police. Maybe they weren’t aware they were showing everyone exactly why it’s dangerous to do so.
According to the Post, police claimed they thought Ahmed was the one intoxicated, despite several people audibly shrieking that this was not the case. They searched Ahmed’s pockets and reportedly found a small bag of weed, for which they gave him a citation, so hooray for justice, I guess.
I’m still upset that they bothered Ahmed in the first place. Perhaps—and I’m being generous here—they felt obligated to see if the drunk man was drunk enough to need further medical assistance. But, frankly, if your knucklehead asses made the judgment call to arrest this dude for rendering your services more or less unnecessary, he probably made the right choice in not telling you where this drunk person was. His skepticism is, at the very least, understandable. Who knows what might have happened, since we’re out here just looking for reasons to arrest people, let alone those who are trying to keep their neighbors safe?
Per the Post:
“If I had blonde hair and blue eyes, this wouldn’t be an issue,” Ahmed said Tuesday. “She wouldn’t have been so disrespectful when I showed her nothing but respect.”
Ahmed was charged with resisting arrest, failure to obey a reasonably lawful order, obstructing and hindering, and disorderly conduct, according to Maryland court records.
All for bothering to be helpful.