By Larissa Martin
To The Cop Who Stated, “Who Is She to You?”:
April 26, 2021 was an unforgettable day. It was my finest buddy’s birthday, nevertheless it was the night time of the joint birthday celebration we had been planning for some time. We had been excited as a result of we hadn’t seen one another in about 6 months because of the pandemic and had been on our approach again to my home.
We had been having a dialog about how I don’t like interacting with cops. It makes me nervous as a result of I’m biracial, and folks of coloration don’t have a great historical past with police confrontations.
I stated that I feared any interplay from an officer; even a smile since a police presence may doubtlessly flip right into a harmful scenario for me. My buddy, who’s white, replied that he couldn’t fathom residing in worry of the police.
Sadly, although, we dwell in a world that is horrific for individuals who appear like me.
Simply 5 minutes from my home, a cop pulled us over. He requested my buddy for his license and registration, similar to any regular cease.
Throughout this interplay, I remained silent. At one level, although, the police officer shined his mild in my face and requested my buddy, “Who’s she to you?” My buddy replied, “She’s my buddy, and I’m simply taking her house.”
We sat there for what felt like perpetually, however lastly, we had been in a position to depart. Apparently, the police pulled my buddy over as a result of he had a taillight out. Fortunately, the officer let my buddy off with a warning, and nothing extra got here of it.
Nonetheless, this interplay with the police nonetheless sticks in my thoughts nearly two years later.
I’ve a sense that the rationale why the cop determined to shine his mild in my face and ask my buddy who I used to be is that he seen me as a suspicious particular person due to my pores and skin coloration.
I can also just about assure that he didn’t actually care concerning the reply to the query he requested my buddy. It felt like he was concentrating on me for no good motive.
The cop didn’t know that I’m a finest buddy — one of the best buddy of the person he pulled over. I’m additionally a sister, a daughter, an aunt, and a niece. I’m an advocate and a author too.
I additionally occur to be biracial, however whereas that’s the very first thing the cop most likely noticed about me, it doesn’t make me harmful. I’m simply making an attempt to exist and dwell one of the best life that I can, however regardless that I’m proud of my life, individuals like him make it tougher.
I hope that when different cops ask individuals of coloration questions, they’ll take a second to mirror on how their phrases and actions could come throughout.
As individuals of coloration, we dwell our day-to-day lives and not using a hidden agenda. We’re not threatening. We’re type, caring human beings, however we’re over the stereotypes about who we’re and the way we’re seen by cops. They deal with us in another way as a result of we’re individuals of coloration.
On the very least, it’s dangerous, however at its most excessive, being singled out can value us our lives.
Larissa Martin is a author whose work has been featured on MSN, Yahoo Life-style, Thrive World, Unwritten, YourTango, and The Mighty.
This text was initially printed at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the writer.