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Is GHCWB (Giving Homeless Change While Black) Prima Facie Evidence of Criminal Activity? [UPDATED 4/26]

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UPDATE #2 (4/26) by Lowell: Also see here for a lengthy statement by the Virginia Beach Police Department, which says, “At this time, this incident appears to have not occurred, or if something did happen, did not occur as described by ‘Hermione Danger’.”

UPDATE 4/26 by Lowell: See below for a relevant tweet from the Virginian Pilot…

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One of the strongest, most positive visions of America comes though embracing the idea of, the aspiration of a “more perfect union.”  Rather than simply the end result of actions by a group of privileged white males 240 years ago, the truest nature of the American ideal is a recognition that “perfection” is beyond us all and that we must, as individuals and society and nation, strive to improve ourselves each passing day.

This morning’s most moving breakfast table reads were two Washington Post stories on “a memorial that refuses to let Dixieland look away“, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Deneen Brown’s Metro story opens with the story of a December 4, 1931 lynching of 23-year-old Matthew Williams in Salisbury, Maryland …

…bound in a straightjacket, thrown out a hospital window … the mob taunted Williams, raising and lowering his body several times before finally dropping him to his death … before burning his body, they cut off his fingers and toes and threw them on porches in the black neighborhood, shouting ‘Make n– sandwiches’

The National Memorial is providing a place and a spark for confronting the ugly past of lynching.

While there are many ways how, over the decades, America and American culture has changed for the better — that there are steps toward a “more perfect union” — and that those ropes from trees might be in the past (as history to study and learn from), the sad truth is that intimidation, harassment, discrimination, and abuse of blacks in America is NOT in the past. Whether arrested at Starbuck’s or shot while unarmed, too many Black Americans have good given reason to fear law enforcement personnel.

With The Post articles and considerations about things like the Starbuck’s arrest in mind this morning, a thread about events in Virginia Beach, entered my twitter stream. Kelsey Bew (“Herminione Danger”), with clear pain and anguish, lays out how her boyfriend was stopped by police after having given 50 cents to a homeless man. The stated reason:

Okay, not necessarily great but not necessarily irrational and unreasonable … “saw what looked like a potential drug deal late at night and stopping to see if something was going on.”  Not saying that that was right or okay, necessarily, but things went truly downhill from there.

Gun drawn at his back … does anyone not understand why he didn’t “feel comfortable reaching in [his] pocket?”

Kelsey’s thread is extensive, laying out how terrified her boyfriend was, how a car search (by dogs) found nothing, how he was left after hours of stoppage with things missing and a messed up car, how he was treated in ways that simply shouldn’t be occurring. And also, by the way, how the local Sheriff’s Deputy sought (unlike the local police) to treat him reasonably and like a human being (even directly thanking that Sheriff).

Kelsey shouldn’t have to explain how good a man her boyfriend is to have to lay the foundation for why her boyfriend was “SOBBING” and “never been more terrified in his life”.

Let’s be clear, that twitter thread is by one person — who wasn’t even a direct witness to the events. Even so, the “smoke” from the general problems in our society related to police brutality against Blacks, and the distressing “smoke” of her twitter thread certainly suggest that there is some “fire” there.

My honest question after reading KelseyBew’s twitter thread: