WASHINGTON, D.C., October 8, 2014– Last week, two Washington Metro Police officers confronted an elderly African-American man in the streets of an affluent D.C. suburb who was carrying two bags. The police ordered the man to the ground and claimed he had become “loud and boisterous” when confronted.
The police were responding to a home alarm in the area, though it turns out they were blocks away from the address where they should have been. Jody Westby , a white, female attorney living in the neighborhood, observed the altercation and rushed to the man’s defense.
Westby instructed her housekeeper to record the events before questioning the cops. Westby stated, “Just because he’s black doesn’t mean he’s here to rob a house. He works for us. He’s been in this neighborhood for 30 years.”
Wesby then pulled the man up off the street and told the police to “please leave our neighborhood” after threatening to report the incident. Westby’s audacity was met with little to no rebuff by the officers, leading many to point out the white privilege showcased in the incident.
Had Wesby not been a white resident of an affluent neighborhood with a thorough understanding of the law, would she have been treated with the same respect and deference by the police? Many think not.
Westby, for one, was stunned by the complete lack of respect shown to an African-American citizen by two other officers of the same race. Westby stated, “You got a white woman and a Hispanic woman standing up for a black man against two black cops…It was shameful how they behaved. And if it were Columbia Heights, or some other neighborhood, it’d probably just be worse.”
Westby is the CEO of Global Cyber Risk LLC and was working from her home office when she saw the incident. Westby went on to state, “It was very interesting, in the sense of getting a picture of how black cops treat black people…And how humiliating that was for [Stucky]. And how they were treating him just like a dog.”
You can watch the full confrontation here: