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I remember we were out playing baseball—right behind our house we had a baseball field. And my father came out and said, “Man, tell people don’t go up in Anniston because they just burned the bus.”* But I come from a family of civil rights fighters. My mother right now is 95 years old and you would look at her and you would think she’s in her thirties. She’s still fighting.



My last relationship was very abusive. I worked, so I got a house, and he lived with me in my house—it was in my younger days, I’ve learned better, okay? But in one of our abusive moments, I called the police to ask for help, and to ask them to remove him from the home. I lived in northern Idaho at the time in a really, really small town. And I was shocked because the police actually ended up making me leave. I was confused. At the time his little sister, who is now like my little sister, had been also staying with us. And her and I had a conversation the following day. And she said, I just had to let you know that after you left, they were joking with him and saying that “we don’t like n*****s around here.” That hugely influenced me to stand up. Being in that situation, calling them with blood on my face, and getting kicked out of my own home with nowhere to go and then them joking with my abuser, saying that “we don’t like n*****s around here.”



Being a Black man, we don’t necessarily have positive police experiences all the time. Now again, I’m not one that’s against police officers themselves. I’m against the police structure. I’m against the policing system. And the

* On the afternoon of May 14, 1961, a Greyhound bus carrying Black and white Freedom Riders was attacked by a mob of Klansmen who set the bus on fire, attempting to kill everyone inside. When later asked why none of his officers had intervened in the attack, which occurred a block from the police department, the police chief said they were busy celebrating Mother’s Day.


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