A Black teenager from the D.C. area inspired protests after a recording showed him being brutally detained by police officers for making a White customer at a local bank feel “uncomfortable.”
The incident happened Monday evening when Jason Goolsby, an 18-year-old student at the University of the District of Columbia, was contemplating taking money out of his account at a local Citibank, according to The Washington Post. The teen was at the vestibule ATM with a friend, Mike Brown, when he found out his scheduled studio session was canceled, leaving him to think twice about the withdrawal. While at the vestibule, Goolsby held the door open for a White woman with a stroller before leaving.
The teens say what happened next shocked them.
While walking away from the bank, a police car quickly approached and Goolsby took off. He was caught three blocks later and forced to the ground by two White police officers. In the video recorded by Brown, Goolsby is roughly handled by the officers while another tells Brown to stay back.
The Washington Post reports:
According to police, the 911 caller said that the men who she thought may have been targeting ATM users were wearing backpacks and had “flat-top bush hairstyles.” Goolsby said he was wearing a backpack and bright blue headphones.
After the officers discovered the teens were not a threat, they were sent on their way. A police report later revealed Goolsby was stopped because said 911 caller claimed the teens made them feel uncomfortable; he/she believed they were targeting ATM users at the bank.
Authorities did not publicly identify the 911 caller, but Goolsby said the officers told him it was the White woman from the bank. He said he never exchanged words with the woman for whom he previously held the door.
In less than 24 hours, the video of Goolsby’s detainment went viral, prompting members of the Black Lives Matter movement to protest on Pennsylvania Avenue on Capitol Hill.
In an interview Tuesday, Goolsby said he wasn’t aware people were protesting in his name. But he expressed anger toward police and the woman at the bank, saying that he and his friends were seen as a threat simply because they are black. “This whole thing is making my head spin,” Goolsby said.
Lt. Sean Conboy, a D.C. police spokesman, questioned the immediate reported details. “Obviously [official] report is very different than Twitter narrative,” he said. Goolsby explained to reporters he ran from the police because he was allegedly almost hit by their squad car. He said his rights were never read to him and after the officers let him go, they didn’t apologize.
Conboy told reporters the department is looking into the incident to make sure all parties handled the stop correctly.
SOURCE: The Washington Post | VIDEO CREDIT: Twitter
On Wednesday Roland Martin, Erika Totten, a former teacher of Jason Goolsby and the NewsOne Now panel discussed this truly disturbing case of existing while Black in America.