While it’s not a secret that there’s a significant contrast in how black people are treated by police in comparison to our white counterparts, it doesn’t make the end result any less frustrating. Especially since police prove time and time again that they are entirely capable of demonstrating proper decorum and restraint as long as the suspect
is white isn’t perceived as a person of color volatile threat.
In the latest example of Must Be Nice to Be White, we have the following scenario, courtesy of WVIR:
A violent encounter with a knife on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall was caught on video.
Taking place on Friday, December 29 just before 6 p.m. on the 100 block of East Main Street, the footage made its way to Twitter shortly after.
In the video from an eyewitness, you see a white man holding a black man at knife point.
Charlottesville Police report that the man was arrested for attempted malicious wounding.
The suspect has since been admitted to Western State Hospital in Staunton. Police will release his name once warrants have been served.
The victim suffered a cut to his hand, but no further injuries have been reported.
This encounter—in which the victim was literally taken hostage—was captured on Twitter by user @tomorrowtambien:
“Downtown CHARLOTTESVILLE right now,” they wrote. “F*ing white trash has a black man submitted first with a knife around his neck, then makes him kneel still threatening to stab him.”
Thankfully, the suspect was taken into custody without incident. And with mental illness believed to be a contributing factor to his behavior, he was taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center before being transferred to Western State Hospital in Staunton for a mental evaluation.
His warrant for malicious wounding will be served following his evaluation.
“After further investigation and viewing video of the incident, the officers obtained a warrant for attempted malicious wounding,” Sergeant Tony Newberry told WCAV. “Service of that warrant will be coordinated between police and the hospital.”
While it’s a relief to hear that the situation didn’t escalate into further violence, I can’t help but wonder why mentally ill black men such as Mario Woods, Saheed Vassell or Alfred Olango weren’t afforded the same patience, compassion or grace.
But we all know the answer to that question.