I never had a bad experience with the police. Maybe because I had my pants pulled up, or because I had my shirt tucked in so they didn’t wonder what I was packing. I didn’t grow up in a neighborhood where cops frequently visit. I grew up in the countryside where big trucks carrying Confederate flags were the closest thing you’ll get to racism or harassment, and that’s even if the one’s carrying the flag meant to offend you. I’m not saying that because I grew up in a better environment and I don’t look like a drug dealer is the reason cops have not harassed me, but I do believe it has a small factor in why police harassment has missed me.
I don’t hate cops. If I judge all cops as racist because some of what I read on the news, then what makes me different from white people who judge all Black men as thugs because they had an encounter with some Black thugs? When my parent’s house got robbed in 2015, they called the police. My parents don’t own guns, so they do not have the means to take matters into their hands. As far as I know the cops did their job. Even though doing their job doesn’t mean they cared about my parent’s house. Although, I do believe cops have a different perspective on neighborhood robberies where crime is less frequent than areas where crime is rapid.
I don’t love the police either because they are human. When a cop puts on their uniform, it doesn’t immediately erase all of their biases and prejudices they have against Blacks and other minorities. For some cops, it might increase their racism because now they have more power to have less concern for people they feel are beneath them. Just because cops wear a uniform that represents unity despite color, sex, or sexual orientation, it doesn’t mean that they no longer hold on to their closed-minded cultural upbringing.
I have no reason to love/hate cops. I am a college graduate and an American Soldier. A cop cannot kill me and say I was reaching for a gun. My clothes fit my body, so if I were carrying a gun, it would be obviously noticed. I have no criminal record. I feel like cops harass people who they feel like they can easily dispose or accuse. Those who have criminal records, and those who fit a criminal description. These are no longer the 1950s where a Black man can walk down the street wearing a suit and still be easily killed or harassed by a cop.
No one should be harassed just because a cop assumes someone is criminal by the color of their skin, the car they drive, or by the clothes they wear. But, that will only happen in a perfect world. In reality, if you wear baggy clothes that hang off your body then cops can easily say they thought you were carrying a firearm, if you drive a car with excessively big rims and illegal tinted windows then cops will assume you have something to hide. I know that I can easily be a target for just being a Black male, but I, at least, try to help myself by not giving into the stereotypes of a trouble maker.