A reader writes:
I live in the small town of Carrboro, NC, not exactly a high crime area—which may explain the following situation in a messed up way:
When my brother was in high school, he watched a friend’s house while he and his parents were out of town. He was going to hang out with a few friends but needed to check on the animals, so he just had his friends meet him at the house. It was about 3-4 teenage boys, in the middle of the day, not really trying to hide the fact that they were going into the house.
I guess a neighbor called the police because she thought something looked suspicious. A few minutes later my dad was alerted to a whole lot of police cars down the block at the house my brother was watching. He went down there to find my brother and his friends sprawled out on the ground face down with shotguns pointed at their heads.
My brother probably shouldn’t have invited his friends over, but shotguns pointed at their heads seemed to be a bit of overkill. He is not exactly a confrontational person and all his friends complied with every order issued by the officers. Thankfully they were released once my dad got there and explained that my brother was supposed to be watching the house.
This was in a suburban neighborhood, in the middle of the day. It must have been a slow day for the police (again, this is not really a high crime area.) One officer could have easily drove by and assessed the situation before calling for backup. A whole squad of heavily armed police hardly seems necessary for a possible breaking & entering.
I wonder if it would have gone very differently were my brother and his friends not white.
If you’re not white and have a police encounter to share, please send us a note. Update from another reader, Richard Cranfill, who provides some local context for the story above:
Having also grown up in the sleepy little town of Carrboro, NC, I once witnessed an amazing drug bust that epitomized the entire city.