Recently, the distraught mother of a biracial teenage son spoke to me about what happened to him that day, before the murder of George Floyd.
He attends a local high school and lives in the Menlo Park community.
Close to tears, she recounted how he was accosted, not once, but twice, as he walked a dog in an affluent area of Menlo Park: First by two white women who asked him what he was doing there, and a short time and distance later, a white man who, saying that he was a lawyer, told him that he didn't belong there. Understandably, this time the young man spoke up to defend himself which prompted the man to call the police, who soon arrived to diffuse the situation and send each on his way.
I cringe to think what could have happened if the teen had reached for his cellphone to record the incidents, and, if any of the three, thinking that the teen was reaching for a gun, in turn had a gun. What if the teen had called police to complain of being harassed? Would he have been believed? Perhaps, but only if he had been able to document these incidents without fear.
Is this the best use of our already-limited law enforcement resources? Aren't there more urgent calls to attend to? Last, do we want this type of behavior to thrive in our community? This incident could have had a different ending, as it tragically did for Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and too many others.
Edison Way, Menlo Park