A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
BARBIE JONES, 32
I was driving my rental car. They were looking for a stolen vehicle; they didn’t run my plates; they didn’t ask me my name. They just saw it was the same—well, they thought it was the car that they were looking for. Immediately, they pulled my car over. They said they were looking for a stolen vehicle. They didn’t ask me my name or anything, they pulled the car over, they put guns to my face. They put me on the ground. I was, like, scared— you can see me on their dash cam puking and everything because I don’t know what’s going on. And then they told me to get in my car. Once they found out that they pulled over the wrong car, they told me to get in my car and go. They still never asked me my name. And then I sued.
KERSTIN ARIAS, 24
When I was seventeen—my mom was very abusive, and I have a white mom. She was beating the crap out of me. All I wanted to do was leave the house and I kept trying to leave the situation, but she wouldn’t let me—she kept saying she was going to call me a runaway. So all I did was push her off me, and I tried to take off. She called the cops. I had a whole black eye, my glasses broke off my face, I had scratch marks all over my arm. When the cops got there, they didn’t even ask me the situation that happened. They didn’t ask if I was okay. They didn’t ask my side of the story. They just put me in handcuffs. And I spent 32 days in jail. At seventeen years old. And you know, that was the sucky part about it. When you have a crazy-ass white mom, who are they gonna believe? The white victim or the troublemaker, you know, teenage problem-child that’s of color.