More and more examples of police being overaggressive, particularly as it pertains to black males, are coming to the forefront. The latest is the below disturbing video of St. Paul, Minnesota police accosting a black man named Chris Lollie and eventually arresting him on charges of trespassing, disorderly conduct, and obstructing the legal process.
So what did Lollie, a musician, do that eventually led to his arrest?
He sat on a bench for 10 minutes, waiting for his kids to get out of school. And most importantly, he did this while being black.
It seems that Lollie was sitting in the skyway in downtown St. Paul’s First National Bank Building, waiting on his kids. He may have even (gasp!) sat on a bench at some point. But his presence was enough that someone called the police to report a man loitering.
In case you don’t know what a skyway is, it is an interlinked collection of enclosed pedestrian footbridges which connects various buildings in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, enabling people to walk in a climate-controlled environment. This is all necessary considering that the area gets extremely cold during the winter.
Police approached Lollie and asked for his name.
The City Pages blog transcribes what happens next, all seen and heard in the video:
“Why do I have to let you know who I am? Who I am isn’t the problem,” the man calmly replies.“Because that’s what police do when they get called,” the officer responds.The man explains he was sitting in the skyway waiting to pick up his kids at 10 o’clock from the New Horizon Academy school. He says he had gotten off work at Cossetta at 9 a.m.
He tells the officer, “First off, that’s a public area. And if there’s no sign that [says], ‘This is a private area, you can’t sit here,’ no one can tell me I can’t sit here.”
“The problem is…” the officer says, before she’s cut off.
“The problem is I’m black. That’s the problem,” the man interjects. “It really is because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Though that exchange was more conversational than confrontational, things escalate when another officer, Bruce Schmidt, arrives on the scene.
“What’s up brother?” the man says to him.
“You’re going to jail. You’re not my brother,” Schmidt replies.
At that point, the officers force the man to put his hands behind his back. A struggle ensues, during which he’s tased.
“Can somebody help me?” he screams. “That’s my kids right there, my kids are right there!”
After he’s restrained, the man, understandably upset, calls the officers “racist motherfuckers” and says, “I didn’t do anything wrong, I didn’t break any laws and you tase me? That’s assault.”
The incident actually took place on January 31, 2014, but the cops confiscated Lollie’s cell phone for 6 months before he got it back and was able to upload the video to Youtube.
Watch it below…
The story isn’t over yet. Lollie is filing a complaint against the St. Paul police department, but thankfully the 3 crimes Lollie was charged with have just been dropped.
The entire incident apparently happened in full view of the day care center his daughter was attending at the time.
Watch the local news report from CBS 4.
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