Howard Univ. Students Racially Profiled And Violently Detained Sparks Outrage

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edited October 2015 in The Social Lounge

Washington DC – A video was posted to social media yesterday showing police violently detaining 18yr-old Jason Goolsby a Howard University student who was using the ATM at the bank just moments before he was racially profiled.

The two Howard University students were arrested at an ATM because as they describe “We were approached because a white couple felt uncomfortable around me and my friend in the bank, this is how police respond”.

Not many details are currently available, Jason’s current condition is unknown. In the video we see Jason’s shoulder being brutally twisted as he cries out in obvious pain. It’s unclear if this maneuver has caused any permanent damage to the young man’s shoulder.

The video was posted on Twitter by @darealbighomiee, saying, “Today we we’re harassed and assaulted because ‘someone felt uncomfortable around us’ in a bank. RETWEET!!”

The DCist reports:

Organizer Erika Totten says the man in the video is an 18-year-old that she previously taught English literature. “He’s just one of the sweetest children that I’ve ever had the honor of teaching,” she said. “Someone said they were scared. Because of his skin. Because he’s a black boy.”
Ultimately, according to Totten, the teen wasn’t charged with anything after the incident, in which he can be heard screaming in pain on the ground.

She’s organized the protest—”a direct reponse to the police brutality that they inflicted on this 18 year old boy”—to begin at 8th and M Streets SE at 1:30 p.m. They plan to head over to the bank where they say the arrest took place.
“When you think about the mayor’s proposal to put more police on the street—this is what we have to deal with,” Totten said. “No one is wearing papers around their neck,” she said in reference to the plan’s emphasis on people with prior records.
Her former student, she said, is the type of kid who was “wrapped up in his music, in supporting other people.” He’s the kind of kid who filmed a promo video for his school singing ‘my school is awesome,’ she said.

And the man who filmed the detention? According to Totten, his name is Mike Brown.

Here is the official police statement:

The initial call was for a suspicious person, three subjects may be trying to rob people at the ATM. The location for the call was 6th St and Pennsylvania Ave SE. Officers in the area responded to the assignment. One individual fled on foot from the police, was chased, and then taken down. The individual resisted, and was handcuffed while resisting after he refused to stop. The person making the video was interfering with police, and was also detained while the incident was investigated. Neither individual was arrested.

People are voicing their outrage in the tags #JusticeforJason and #JusticeForJasonDC. People are marching in Washington DC right now.