In what serves as the latest example of #ExistingWhileBlack, I present 20-year-old Devin Meyers, who was stopped by police for—wait for it—“looking suspiciously” at a white woman.
Have you ever seen a white woman in public? They do a lot of suspicious shit. But regardless, according to the Daily Dot, police in Royal Oak, Mich., felt Meyers’ decision to do so was just cause to be stopped and questioned.
Thankfully, Kimiko Adolph captured the encounter on video.
“I was walking to the CVS over here when this young man is stopped,” Adolph says in the video, narrating the unfortunate series of events. “Because a Caucasian lady said that he looked at her suspiciously. He has been pulled over, walking to go to eat, by two police officers for suspicion of being black.”
She later adds, “They got him surrounded. So I’m not going to leave the brother out here.”
Eventually, Erin Frey, manager of the Inn Season Cafe, intervened and used her own white privilege to call the police out on their bullshit.
“[The white woman] called because he’s a black guy,” Frey told the police after Meyers was finally free to leave. “If that were me walking across the street and walking in, this would not be happening.”
Frey then treated Meyers and his girlfriend, who he was on his way to meet prior to being stopped for no damn reason, to a free meal at her restaurant.
As a result of this unnecessary foolishness, the Detroit Free Press reports that the Royal Oak police have launched an internal investigation. Additionally, Royal Oak Mayor Michael Fournier released the following statement:
“We are passionate about being a city that lives and acts according to our values and one where all people from all walks of life, from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, feel not just safe, but welcome and embraced as members of our community,” he said.
“We absolutely recognize that racial bias exists and we as a community aspire to be among those working every day to combat it. But, this is not just the work of our officers and public officials alone, but all of us, individually (and) as a community must put in the effort to recognize and come to terms with our own personal prejudices and biases.
“We are in the process of evaluating what mistakes have been made and we will own them, we will learn from them, and we will continue to strive to be better in everything we do.”
As for her decision to intervene and quite possibly save Meyers’ life, Adolph said the decision to do so was simple.
“I have three black sons, and he was by himself, surrounded for no reason,” she told the Daily Dot. “Nobody was filming, and I knew I had to.”
If only Emmett Till could’ve been so lucky.
Royal Oak Police Lt. Keith Spencer acknowledged the existence of the cellphone video circulating online but declined to comment further.