Cops just showed up in my neighborhood, locked up several of the corner boys.
They swooped in with unmarked cars, and surrounded a van where several of the boys were hanging out.

They pulled them all out of the van and sat them all down on the sidewalk, cuffed.

Then they opened up everything in the van and started questioning them.
They found a small bag of weed in the glove compartment, and after questioning them (which turned to them yelling at them), they called a paddy wagon and put two of them in it.
The whole scene was really calm, but tense.

A crowd grew, including several parents of the boys themselves.

They spoke to each other across the street, letting each other know they were alright and exchanging phone numbers to call.
Everyone in the crowd remarked at how ridiculous the whole thing was, give the state's approaching legality for marijuana.

But people were still quiet, and tried not to rile up the cops.

Several boys went in and out of the crowd telling people to keep quiet.
Two of the four guys they singled out were put in the paddy wagon, but the cops left the doors open.

A guy from the crowd approached them and began writing down numbers in a notebook that the guys in the paddy wagon needed to call.
A large cop stood by and waited as this happened.

One of the mothers of one of the boys called out and asked if her son had been put in a seatbelt.

One of the cops nodded yes.
"Thank you." she said, "Because we don't need another #FreddieGray."

At these words, ALL the cops tensed up. The big cop slammed the doors of the paddy wagon.

The young man with the notebook began protesting and apologizing. "We're sorry officer, we didn't mean any offense!"
The cops ignored him, and all got back in their cars. The paddy wagon roared off. The crowd began to curse at the sensitivity of the cops.

The guy with the notebook started cursing the mother.
The whole thing unraveled from there. The cops gunned their engines and rode off, and people began yelling at each other, disagreeing on what rights they did and did not have, and what they could and could not say.
"We don't HAVE 1st Amendment rights with them!" yelled the guy with the notebook, "They can do whatever they like and we just gotta take it!"

"That's against the law!" shouted the mother.
"It doesn't matter to them" said the notebook guy.

Eventually everyone dispersed, realizing there was nothing more anyone could do.
People wonder why young Black men aren't always out in the regular protests against the cops.

They're the ones who have to deal with the police on a regular basis.

And when the cops are pissed, they deal with the biggest brunt.
"It's like a parent who beats you." said the guy with notebook, "There's nothing you can do about it. You just gotta take it until you can figure out a way out."
The whole thing has me shaken up.

This played out steps from my front door.

Nobody knows what basis they had to search the van. Or who called the cops.

It's really hard not to feel powerless against them. They acted with complete and absolute power.
We don't even get what kind of safety you have to be in to even say "Fuck the Police".

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