Ex: Abuse of Power

Seven days following the City of Ypsilanti Community Relations/BLM Task Force meeting at Ypsilanti High School, three YPD cops continue to display undesirable behavior.

10:05, Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Yeah, she said, I agree, she said, humility training, she said, is what YPD officers are lacking. Wait, what’s happening over there? (She points north, toward the Huron Lot, a surface lot in downtown Ypsilanti.) Three YPD vehicles and three YPD officers surround one man, a black man.

Yes, he said, I agree, he said, in addition to training, YPD officers should be required to spend quality time in the community before graduating from the Academy. Are you pointing in the direction of those blue and red flashing lights, over there? Great idea, let’s make sure that YPD officers are not abusing their authority.

The two concerned citizens walk over toward the black man being questioned by an YPD officer; the two concerned citizens stand idle, calmly, eight feet away from the officer and the black man in questioning.

Officer #1:
Hello, can I help you?

Officer #1:
Hello! Can I help you!?

(Concerned Citizen #1 and #2 remain silent, as they continue to observe what appeared to be a routine traffic stop.)

Officer #1 moves forward, hand resting on utility belt before saying:
How can I help you?

Concerned Citizen #2 looks at Concerned Citizen #1 and smiles, before saying:
We are here to make sure that you all are providing this black man with high quality public safety.

Officer #1:
Are you his dad?

Concerned Citizen #2 ignores the officers ridiculous assumption (please note that the black man in question was an adult male, over the age of forty, and the concerned citizen is a twenty-something year old).

Officer #2:
Move back, over there, while we are conducting an investigation.

(Concerned Citizen #1 and #2 remain in place, silently and confidently.)

Concerned Citizen #2:
They must think he’s drunk. Do you think they searched his car too?

Concerned Citizen #1:
Looks like they are giving him an eye examination, or some…

Officer #1:
Move back, over there!

Concerned Citizen #2:
Back where? You want us to stand where?

Officer #1:
Over there, on the sidewalk!

Officer #2:
Move to the sidewalk or…

(During this time Officer #1 and #2 are clearly agitated; and it’s clear that the officers are lacking the necessary interpersonal relationship skills to interact with everyday folk.)

Concerned Citizen #2:
How far away must one stand while observing a routine traffic stop?

Officer #2:
As far as I tell you, move to the sidewalk now! Or…

Concerned Citizen #2:
Or what? Answer my question, how far away must one stand while observing a routine traffic stop.

Officer #3 stops testing the black man’s vision before yelling (Officer #3 standing 50-60 feet away):
Move to the sidewalk, I don’t feel safe.

Officer #2:
Yeah, we don’t feel safe.

Officer #1 standing near woodchips and a tree, spits several times and banters with Officer #2.

Officer #2 also begins to spit (micro-aggression) as he leans on a car, and exchanges snarky comments to Officer #1.

Concerned Citizen #1:
Let’s step back toward the sidewalk, Concerned Citizen #2.

Both Concerned Citizen #1 and #2 retreat to the sidewalk

Officer #1 and #2 continue to spit, and banter, spit, and banter.

Officer #3 continues to test the black man’s motor skills.

[The End]

Police have broad discretion in determining when and whether to pull someone over, but they cannot just stop any random person and start conducting a field sobriety test. Find out the minimum standard police must satisfy before conducting a DUI stop. What is reasonable suspicion for a DUI stop? Learn more here.

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