There’s always going to be a rift between Black people and police officers as long as cops believe even the slightest challenge to their authority warrants their reckless aggression and uses of force no matter how minor the original offense was.
Officers with the New York City Police Department became a perfect picture of what I mean when on July 6, they swarmed a Black man on the subway and tased him, all over a train fare dispute involving another passenger and a Black man’s unwillingness to immediately bend to the will of officers who he appears to believe are the ones who are out of line.
According to NBC News, David Crowell, 29, was arrested on charges that include resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct. There are two videos showing parts of what happened.
Body-cam video released by the department shows police confronting Cowell and his initial response to their demands.
“Body-worn camera footage shows the man cursing at officers, refusing to exit the train, & threatening them,” the department captioned the tweet, as if police officers aren’t always cursing and talking reckless to civilians they see a reason to cop (pun intended) an attitude with. “With additional officers on scene, the man continued to resist arrest, prompting the use of a taser.”
From the NBC:
The police bodycam video shows an agitated Crowell aboard a subway train while an officer is trying to speak to him from the station’s platform. Crowell said multiple times, “I paid.”
He then swears at officers on the platform. At one point, Crowell says, “F—- the police. What do my back say?” He then lifts up his shirt and turns his back toward officers, apparently showing a tattoo. Crowell also appears to threaten officers.
“You bust that s—-, I’m going to run you. I promise you,” he said.
A witness also captured part of the confrontation.
Based on the footage, there appears to be confusion as to who officers are accusing of catching a free ride as Crowell can be heard repeatedly telling officers, “I paid,” and other riders are also heard confirming that they saw him pay his fare.
According to NBC, there is no available video evidence showing events before the police approached Crowell.
Police said they were actually accusing Crowell of letting someone else in the station without paying and that person did pay his fare after officers confronted him.
Regardless of who didn’t pay what, it really seems like officers were egregiously overreacting. This really seemed to be more about fragile blue egos than it was about somebody getting a free ride.