White Woman Notifies Security of Black Man Pushing His Son in a Stroller
A Washington, D.C., area father claims he was racially profiled while with his child in a park.
Amid almost daily reports from across the country of white people calling the cops on Blacks for activities like napping and buying prom outfits, a Black father claims that security was notified of a "'suspicious man' walking on the bike path with a baby" while he pushed his son in a stroller in a Washington, D.C., area park.
Donald Sherman, a lawyer based in D.C., explained in a Facebook post that on Thursday he stayed home with his son, Caleb, who had a fever. He wanted Caleb to get some fresh air, so he took his son for a walk in Kingman and Heritage Island Park, near their home.
"Thirty minutes into our stroll I got flagged by a security officer in one of those cars marked 'Special Police' on the side," Sherman wrote. "I was a bit confused as to whether she was looking for me to stop but she honked twice and pulled over so I got the picture.
"She told me that she received a complaint from someone who said there was a 'suspicious man' walking on the bike path with a baby. She said that when the complainant was asked to describe my race, she declined.
"Nevertheless, this person, a white lady on a bike who veered off as Caleb and I were walking in her direction, saw fit to report me to security."
Sherman said his interaction with the security officer was "pleasant" and that she just wanted to inform him of what happened.
"If this complaint had been made to a different security officer or an actual cop, things could have gone very differently," he wrote.
"This is exactly why we have to talk about white privilege and why Black lives matter.
"Because at any point doing any thing anywhere my safety and my child's safety could been in jeopardy because some well intentioned complaint."
"Are white folks losing their minds?" Christian N. Henderson wrote in response to Sherman's post. "This is getting frightening and developing too fast. Thank you for maintaining your cool."
Celebrities are seeking out ways to fight the mental health stigma within the Black community.
Studies show Black men are particularly concerned about the stigma of mental illness, and apprehensive about seeking help.
Wizdom Powell, PhD, MPH, director of the Health Disparities Institute at University of Connecticut Health and associate professor of psychiatry, said that men of color are generally discouraged from seeking any kind of help, including help with mental health issues.
But some brave men in the very public eye, have decided to tackle the issue hoping to change the way the Black community views getting help.
Earlier this month, Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to help improve mental health services in Chicago. Six mental health providers in Cook County will each get $100,000 grants, and SocialWorks is starting an initiative called "My State of Mind" to help connect people with treatment.
NFL player Brandon Marshall, who struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder, started a nonprofit Project 375.org to help eradicate stigma, increase awareness and improve training and care for youth. He wrote a powerful essay called "The Stigma," last year, where he was candid with his own battles and some of his coping mechanisms that included meditation and journaling.
The conversations around health are happening in other ways, in interviews, on albums, online and on screen.
Jay-Z has come out in interviews to talk about how the experience of therapy helped him grow as a man, overcoming situations, which he describes in his lyrics.
On his album "4:44," he released a mini documentary "Footnotes for MaNyfaCedGod," where he gathered a group of Black men to talk candidly about therapy, self-care, and mental health awareness.
He also advocated for therapy at younger ages and in schools.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson posted about his mother's suicide attempt on social media and went on "Oprah's Master Class" on OWN to discuss his own depression and how important it is to know that you are not alone in your struggles.
Rapper Kid Cudi, in posting about and seeking help for his anxiety struggles back in 2016, inspired users on social media to start the #YouGoodMan hashtag, which became a place for Black men to share knowledge and their stories with support.
Primetime TV shows are breaking the silence in the Black community as well.
Sterling K. Brown star of "This Is Us," Romany Malco Jr. of "A Million Little Things," and Kendrick Sampson and Issa Rae of "Insecure" all struggle on screen with issues and survive.
These actors are tackling conversations around getting help for depression, suicide ideation, panic attacks, and trauma — many issues that plague the Black community based on everyday living experiences.
And talking about it helps.
Marcus and Markeiff Morris, twin brothers and NBA players talked to ESPN about their struggles with depression and trauma from growing up in a violent neighborhood. Marcus Morris, who shared their story, encouraged others, "If you have depression, you should be trying to get rid of it instead of bottling it up and letting it weigh on you and weigh on you and weigh on you."
Markeiff, initially agreed to speak about his illness, but bowed out, possibly a sign that he's not quite ready. There are many men like him.
Hopefully, the more men that come forward to advocate and share, the more others will feel empowered to do the same.
Reader Question: Why do you think Black men struggle to speak openly about their how stress impacts their mental health?
Free Daily Newsletter
We won't share your email with anyone.
"This is America 2018 right here. Racism and discrimination," Hamdia Ahmed said.
"It''s like a riot out here."
A woman dubbed #GasStationGail called the police on a group of peaceful Black protesters, which included children, as they denounced violence in their Charleston community outside of a local gas station.
Brennan Walker testified: "I turned back and I saw him aiming at me ... I was trying to run away faster and I heard a gunshot."
The jury at Oakland County Circuit Court in Michigan found Jeffrey Craig Ziegler, age 53, guilty of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
They deliberated less than three hours on Friday after closing arguments, where the prosecutor, Kelly Collins, argued that Ziegler "was the danger," not the teen. Brennan Walker narrowly escaped fatal injury because Ziegler forgot to turn off the safety on his 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun. The video showed he was unable to immediately fire at first, and police confirmed the safety was initially on.
Ziegler's attorney, Robert Morad, argued his client was firing a warning shot in the air one time and never chased after Walker.
The original charge was assault with intent to murder, punishable by up to life in prison, but Ziegler was convicted on the lesser charge and faces up to 10 years in prison.
He showed no emotion as the verdict was read.
Lisa Wright, Walker's mother, cried as the verdict was read. She had accused Ziegler of taking actions that were racially motivated. Her friend Carin Poole said justice was served "in some way."
Poole also said the hope was for a more serious charge.
According to a study done by the Equal Justice Initiative:
White defendants were 25 percent more likely than black defendants to have their most serious initial charge dropped or reduced to a less severe charge; approximately 15 percent more likely than similar black defendants to be convicted of a misdemeanor instead. White defendants with no prior convictions were over 25 percent more likely than black defendants with no prior convictions to receive a charge reduction.
Ziegler testified that he thought Walker was an adult, at 6-feet, 2-inches tall, and that "instinct" made him grab his gun to protect his wife.
Walker testified: "I turned back and I saw him aiming at me... I was trying to run away faster and I heard a gunshot."
Morad said outside of court that the home security video could appear to show Ziegler was firing in Walker's direction, but said the shot goes away from where the teen was running.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said, "That's just completely unacceptable on every level. I don't know how you would justify it, but it certainly doesn't pass the muster," said Bouchard.
Judge Wendy Potts revoked Ziegler's bond and ordered him to jail pending sentencing Nov. 13.
Reader Question: When sentencing happens in a month, how much time in do you think Ziegler will be sentenced to?
Shooter on trial might face life in prison, if convicted.
Jeffrey Zeigler, who is on trial for shooting at a lost Black teen in Rochester Hills, Mich., watched as his wife, Dana, broke down in tears in Oakland County Circuit Court on Tuesday, while testifying about the April 12 shooting, and watching a video of the incident.
Dana said she was frightened when she saw Brennan Walker, a 14-year-old Black teen, on her porch.
"What are you doing on my porch?" she recalled. "I saw a Black person standing at my door and I screamed at him, and I asked him what he was doing there."
Her report to police: "A Black male was trying to break into her house and her husband chased after him into the yard."
The video shows Zeigler aiming at the teen, despite the claims that he tripped and his gun fired.
Rochester Hills Michigan 6 months ago.
The surveillance footage was just released.
14 y/o Black Teen misses the bus to school & figures he knew the route well enough to walk the 4-mile route. He gets lost, stops to ask for directions, & nearly loses his life.
WHY WE KNEEL! pic.twitter.com/k3cnL3kO6u
— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) October 11, 2018
Prosecutor Kelly Collins said that "being a bad shot does not negate one's intentions."
Walker, then age 14, had missed his bus to school that morning and came to the Zeigler's door for help. After his wife screamed, Zeigler fired a shotgun at the teen, but missed him.
Zeigler had referred to Walker, in an interview with a sheriff's deputy, as "that colored kid" at his front door. The defense initially claimed it was the interviewing officer who said "colored."
Zeigler also said he was "tired of being a victim."
His attorney, Rob Morad, has said that "race was not a factor in the shooting, but rather actions from passion instead of judgment," Morad told jurors. He said the couple had five previous break-ins and were on "high alert."
Walker's mother, Lisa Wright, who was also in tears in the courtroom watching the video of her son flee for his life, said that she believed the shooting was a hate crime and that she wanted to see the prosecution push this to the fullest extent.
In April, she said that she believed this was racially motivated. After watching a video near the time of the incident, she said: "You can hear the wife say, 'Why did these people choose my house?' Who are 'these people?' "
Walker testified that after he knocked on the front door, which is behind a screen door, Zeigler's wife accused him of trying to break in.
"I was scared," he testified. "I was trying to tell them that I was trying to get to high school, but they weren't listening."
Zeigler was arrested and released on $50,000 bond and ordered to wear a tracking device. He was charged with assault with intent to murder, which could lead to life in prison, Oakland County District Attorney Jessica R. Cooper said, along with use of a firearm in a felony.
Zeigler also has a conviction for firing a handgun at another motorist during a dispute in 2004.
Reader Question: Watching the video, would you say Zeigler is innocent or guilty of intent to murder?
Connect With DiversityInc
UPDATE: #CornerstoreCaroline Calls the Cops on a 9-Year-Old Black Boy for Allegedly Groping Her in a Bodega: Viral Video
A white woman accuses a Black boy of sexual assault. Is this 2018 or 1955?
UPDATE 10/12/2018: In proper Twitter fashion, amateur sleuths came out of the woodwork to ensure that the world would know the real person behind this atrocious act. Meet Teresa Sue Klein aka #CornerstoreCaroline. And apparently Teresa does have ties to the police. However, she was on the wrong end of the law and not an actual police officer. The gluteal-challenged woman has a criminal record and may even be a sex offender. Shame on her.
'Your radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian will be sent back packing to the reservation': Racist Republican Says of Democrat Running for Congress
The bigot resigned with no apology Sharice Davids.
Republican precinct committeeman Michael Kalny of Shawnee sent a Facebook message about Democratic congressional candidate Sharice Davids, who is running against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep Kevin Yoder for the 3rd congressional district seat in Kansas.
Emily's List posted on Twitter in response: "This racist, homophobic language is totally unacceptable. We're proud to stand with her & to help elect her." They've since promoted her, and another Native American candidate Deb Haaland of New Mexico.
A Kansas GOP official called @sharicedavids a “radical socialist kick boxing lesbian Indian" who would "be sent back packing to the reservation." This racist, homophobic language is totally unacceptable. We're proud to stand with her & to help elect her. https://t.co/j7OuenwiHs
— EMILY's List (@emilyslist) October 10, 2018
Davids responded that the message "doesn't represent Kansas values, and it doesn't represent the values of the Republicans we know, many who support this campaign."
On Wednesday, Kalny resigned. "He reflected an apologetic attitude and didn't want to bring negative attention on the party or candidates running in this area," Johnson County Republican Party Chairman Mike Jones said.No word on an official apology from Kalny to Davids yet. The hateful message was sent to Anne Pritchett, president of the Johnson County Democratic Women's north chapter, who had posted "hostile" messages on candidate Yoder's page in this fiery election race.
Davids, a LGBT lawyer and amateur mixed-martial arts fighter, could become the first ever openly gay member of the Kansas Congressional delegation, if she wins, as well as the first female Native American lawmaker in Washington.
Kalny, when questioned about his message by local media, said he needed to talk to his attorney and hung up the phone.
He also resigned from his position on the board of directors for the Kansas City Barbecue Society citing "personal reasons."
C.J. Grover, a spokesman for Yoder, denounced Kalny's comments:
"Kevin (Yoder) doesn't believe this type of rhetoric is appropriate at all. It's unacceptable," Grover said. "These kind of nasty personal attacks are all too prevalent in politics these days, and it needs to stop."
Davids has shown up in pre-election polls as leading Yoder by as much as 8 percent. She also faces Chris Clemmons, a libertarian candidate, on Nov. 6. Voter registration ends on Oct. 17, less than one week away.
Free Daily Newsletter
We won't share your email with anyone.
Taylor Swift's post did more than tick off alt-righters. It motivated newer voters to register in a big way.
Typically, there is an uptick in voting registration that occurs right before elections, but according to Vote.org Chief Operating Officer Raven Brooks, "…this absolutely has been a massive 48-hour period for us and I would attribute it in large part to her. We would've had elevated traffic from normal because of registration deadlines happening this week, but this is an order of magnitude greater than anything we've seen to date."
In the first 24 hours after Swift's post, the site had 155,940 visitors — a leap from the 14,078 average daily visitors. Sixty-five thousand new registrations, mostly ages 18-29, in that one day resulted. The number of registrations climbed to over 200,000 since Sunday.
By comparison, the group said 56,669 new voters registered in August and 190,178 registered in September. In October 2016, there were 405,149 new registrations on Vote.org for the whole month.
In the 36 hours after Swift's post, Tennessee tracked 2,144 new voter registrations, bringing the total up to 7,554 in October — a large increase from 2,811 registrations in September and 951 in August.
"One thing is clear, we're seeing a massive surge in the 18 to 24 and 25 to 29 voters, which is her fan demographic. The 18 to 24 number almost doubled overnight," Vote.org spokesperson Kamari Guthrie said. "Taylor Swift's visibility on this issue is driving a lot of coverage of voter registration, and it's reaching many of her fans who would not otherwise be following news like this."