Cops Called on Black Man Moving Into His New Apartment in Manhattan

StoryfulNewsPublished: May 1, 20182,902 views
Published: May 1, 2018

Darren Martin’s neighbors welcomed him to his new upper west side Manhattan apartment on April 27 by calling police on him for allegedly breaking and entering. Martin, a former White House official under President Barack Obama, was moving into his new apartment as he prepared to take on a new job with the city of New York. Instead, he was held by at least three NYPD officers, some in plain clothes, while several others searched his apartment and questioned a friend who was inside, he said. In the video Martin live streamed, one of the officers holds up his radio where the dispatcher can be heard saying that the person who called said "someone was trying to break into the door [unintelligible] banging, possibly a weapon, a large tool … [unintelligible] on the roof. … " In a thread on Twitter, Martin said: “I was happy to move back to NYC and into my new apt in the UWS, near Harlem. The plan was to do this today in daylight, recording all the pomp that comes along with such a move. Well, life and work happens and you end up having to move on a Friday night at 11pm, and unexpectedly, you find yourself instead recording a very unfortunate circumstance. I lie when I say ‘unexpectedly.’ I partly expected this once I added up all the factors: I’m a Black man, late at night, moving valuables around in a gentrifying neighborhood. See, this checklist is something Black men find themselves reviewing in a host of scenarios. ‘I should stay far away from this woman on this dark street clutching her purse.’ ’It’s casual Friday, but should I wear a suit so they know I’m part of the meeting?’ ‘The Pokemon in that guy’s yard may not be worth it.’ Moving past quandary, I decided to get it done with – the worst part of this would be whatever comes with moving to the top of a 5th floor walk up. Which, btw, you shouldn’t do on an empty stomach. So halfway through, I make my way down to the lobby where my things were, and as if on cue, right outside on the street I see an NYPD car parking quickly and in the wrong direction. They meant business. 3 officers hop out, demand I let them in the building, and proceed to question me. I live here and I’m moving, was my message, but it didn’t permeate. 3 or 4 more officers in plainclothes rush in and corner me, as per the video, while the others go up to ‘investigate’ – unlawfully entering my apt, pulling my friend out of the shower, and questioning him. Then I heard the police dispatcher describe my alleged misdeed: Breaking and entering (from the roof?) possibly with a weapon – a large one. There are few moments more jarring in a Black man’s life than that moment right at the beginning of the criminal justice system. I’m talking pre-arrest, when your fate is NOT in your hands. There are fewer moments less dignifying, than at the scene when the police and witnesses assess you to determine if you committed this crime or perceived crime – when you know you didn’t. Hey, you already fit the profile so that’s half their battle. And, again, this is how you feel pre-arrest. Not mentioning the rest of the CJ system, this part is one that at least many Black men have been in. I was blessed enough to be released and not become a hashtag. This was a tame encounter compared to others I’ve been in and witnessed But the next & lingering pit in my stomach came from how my my neighbors viewed me. How they officially welcomed me into the building. Call the police on this Black man who DEFINITELY doesn’t live here. The man who worked for President Obama and now serves his fellow New Yorkers. Yeah, him. I gotta say, moving up a 5th floor walk up is tough, but each of those 100 plus steps becomes increasingly grueling with the thought that you’re feared or just not wanted in the building. I guess next time I’ll wear a suit.” Credit: Darren Martin via Storyful

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