‘He was petrified’: A Philadelphia mother says she and her 2

The progress from Western colonial global expansion, and the construction of American wealth and industry on the backs of enslaved Blacks and Native peoples, followed by the abrupt "emancipation" of the slaves and their exodus from the South to the Northern cities, has led us to our current divided society. Divided by economic inequities and unequal access to social resources, the nation lives in a media dream of social harmony, or did until YouTube set its bed on fire. Now, it is common knowledge that our current system of brutal racist policing and punitive over-incarceration serves the dual purpose of maintaining racial prejudice and the inequities it justifies. Brief yourself on this late-breaking development in American history here.

‘He was petrified’: A Philadelphia mother says she and her 2

Postby admin » Sun Dec 06, 2020 1:08 am

‘He was petrified’: A Philadelphia mother says she and her 2-year-old son are physically and emotionally traumatized after police smashed their SUV, beat her, and separated them during West Philly unrest.
by Anna Orso
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Posted: December 3, 2020




Rickia Young had successfully lulled her 2-year-old to sleep in his car seat when she drove toward a normally busy West Philadelphia intersection late on a clear October night. She encountered a cluster of Philadelphia police officers who had helmets and shields and batons. The air smelled of burnt plastic.

Young needed to turn the SUV around. But it was just hours after police fatally shot a Black man a few blocks away, and people were hurling bottles and rocks at anyone in blue. Startled behind the wheel, her 16-year-old nephew also in tow, Young took in the dizzying scene: police in front of her, agitators behind her. She was stuck.

As she searched for an out, two dozen officers charged, swarming the vehicle. Young recalled her panicked nephew yelling, “Lock the doors!”

Police surround the SUV Rickia Young was driving early in the morning on Oct. 27. Unrest in the area was sparked earlier that day after police fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr. just blocks away.

Officers ordered, “Open the f—ing door!” and “Get out of the f—ing car,” Young said, before they bashed the SUV with batons, shattered the back windows, yanked open the front doors, and ripped her and her nephew out, throwing them to the ground and beating them.

She let out a scream. “My son is in the car!”

“He was petrified,” she remembers of the brief glimpse she got of her toddler as she was being dragged out of the vehicle. “Pet-ri-fied.”

Today, her son bites his nails, pulls at his hair, and jumps in his sleep. And when asked about the police, Young said, he bangs his little fist and repeats what he heard: ”open door” and “f—ing door.”

Rickia Young recounts how police swarmed her SUV, beat her to the ground and separated her from her son in West Philadelphia, all captured in a viral video.

It’s been about a month since the early-morning hours of Oct. 27, when Young, a 28-year-old single mother who lives in North Philadelphia, drove to the west end of the city, planning to pick up her nephew and cruise home on Chestnut Street.

Instead, she ended up bleeding in the back of a police van, then handcuffed to a hospital bed, desperate to learn where officers had taken her 2-year-old son.

Since then, parts of her story have been shared around the world, first after a cell phone video of the melee went viral, then when the national police union posted a photo of a Philadelphia officer clutching her toddler alongside a fake story that claimed the boy was lost during “violent riots” and saved by police.

Young spoke publicly for the first time during a November interview, during which she called for justice for herself and others impacted by police accused of brutality. Neither she nor her nephew was charged with a crime, both say they weren’t involved in violence or looting that night, and police still haven’t said what prompted the show of force.

The son of Rickia Young, 28, of North Philadelphia, looks up at a tree in Malcolm X Park. Young doesn't want her son's name or face published for fear he'll be branded with this for life.

Days after the incident, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw — whose department was already under fire for its response to unrest earlier in the year — said that the video was “quite concerning” and that one officer had been placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of an Internal Affairs investigation.

Today, five officers from multiple districts are on restricted duty as that probe is ongoing, said a police spokesperson, Sgt. Eric Gripp. The department declined to make Outlaw available for an interview last week.

Responding to written questions, Gripp said the open investigation means officials are limited “as to the specificity of the information that can be provided.” An Inquirer request for body-worn camera footage remains under review.

Meanwhile, the three family members in the SUV that night are navigating the constellation of traumas associated with being high-profile — but so far largely faceless — victims of police force caught on camera.

The bones in the 16-year-old’s hand were shattered, requiring surgery in mid-November, the teenager’s lawyer said. Young was badly bruised, showed signs of internal bleeding, and had a swollen trachea. Her left arm remains in a sling because of intense shoulder pain. And her son had a welt on his head.

The 16-year-old and his family don’t want his name public — he’s already received racist harassment online. And Young doesn’t want her 2-year-old’s name or face published either, fearing he’ll be branded with this for life.

She wants every officer involved fired.

“It’s not all bad cops out here,” she said. “But that night, in my eyes, every single last one of them were evil.”

‘All hell broke loose’

Young said she was resting at her sister’s house in North Philadelphia on Oct. 26, not looking much at her phone or following the news as the west side of the city fell into turmoil.

Late in the afternoon, two Philadelphia police officers shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old Black man who family said was experiencing a mental health crisis. He walked toward police while wielding a knife when they fired more than a dozen shots as his mother looked on.

Police officers with shields line up in West Philadelphia during protests and civil unrest sparked by the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr. on Oct. 26.

Protests materialized within hours. People from the neighborhood and outside it decried police just blocks away from where Philadelphia dropped a bomb on a MOVE house in 1985, killing 11 and destroying 61 homes in an act of brutality against Black Philadelphians that scarred the city for decades.

This, mere months after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis was caught on video and set off a nationwide wave of civil unrest that hit West Philadelphia in late May, when people broke into shops and set police cars aflame. Philadelphia police responded by indiscriminately firing tear gas and shooting rubber bullets at protesters and bystanders around 52nd Street.

Hundreds of people went to the same corridor again after police killed Wallace and a video of his death circulated online. Many were there to protest. Some broke into stores, vandalized property, and set a police SUV on fire. Dozens of officers were injured, including one who was hospitalized after someone driving a pickup truck struck her.

As the unrest continued past 1 a.m., Young’s nephew called her from West Philadelphia, asking for a ride home from his friend’s house. She wasn’t going to leave her 2-year-old son unattended, she said, and figured the whir of the SUV — her sister’s vehicle — would put him to sleep.

So Young picked up her nephew, then started back home, turning right onto the one-way Chestnut Street and heading east toward 52nd at about 1:45 a.m.

She wishes she’d gone a different way.

“It was just like, wrong turn, all hell broke loose,” she said. “Literally, hell broke loose.”

A police wagon, then a hospital bed

Video of the incident was shot by Aapril Rice, a 30-year-old who lives near where it occurred and streamed the police response live on Instagram.

The video shows a crowd that had scattered near a Foot Locker that was being burglarized. Two vehicles enter the scene: a pickup truck that drove in the middle of the street near where police were stationed, while a different vehicle, the SUV Young was driving, was stopped with its backup lights on and facing the sidewalk.

The 5200 block of Chestnut Street, the block where Rickia Young was pulled from her SUV and beaten early in the morning on Oct. 27 amid the unrest in West Philadelphia.

About two dozen officers, some holding shields, advanced west down the street and encircled the vehicle. At least 30 more officers milled about at the intersection. As police approach, the video shows, the SUV backup lights turn off.

Rice narrates what she saw next, saying “whoa!” as police smash the windows with batons and pull Young from the driver’s seat. The video then shows an officer leaning into the backseat and pulling something out, as Rice says: “Somebody just hopped out with a baby!”

Young said police threw her to the ground and beat her with batons, fists, and feet for what felt “like forever.” The video shows at least eight officers surrounding her while she was on the ground.

Philadelphia police policy says officers may use a baton when someone is “aggressive or assaultive” and there is an “immediate likelihood” they may hurt themselves or others. In Young’s case, officers wielded batons even before she was out of the vehicle.

Police also sprayed a chemical agent, Young said, making her feel as if her face was “melting” while she was being handcuffed. Stephen O’Hanlon, an attorney for the 16-year-old, said the teenager also relayed that his eyes were burning. Gripp said that whether police used pepper spray would be determined as part of the ongoing investigation.

Young said she begged for her son and asked for water or a napkin to wipe the chemicals from her face. She lay on the sidewalk handcuffed and breathing heavily, she said.

“An officer said to me, ‘You can breathe hard all you want, I’m still not taking off these handcuffs,’” she recalled. “And I just kept asking, ‘Where’s my son? Where’s my son?’ Nobody would answer me.”

Gripp did not comment specifically on Young’s recollection but said officers are trained to avoid keeping a restrained person on their back or stomach because of the possibility of “positional asphyxia.” If a person must be in such a position temporarily, officers are trained to closely monitor them and, if someone is having trouble breathing, to seek medical assistance immediately.

Young said that after she was pulled off the ground, officers loaded her into a police van alongside two other women. She said she yelled again: “Where is my son?” to which she said the officer in the driver’s seat replied her toddler was going to “a better place,” then said that place was “DHS,” presumably a reference to the Department of Human Services, the city’s child-welfare agency.

“My heart just flew out my chest at that point,” she said.

As hip-hop played through the speakers, the van ripped around corners, causing Young, who was handcuffed and not strapped in, to jerk back and forth, she said. One of the other women in the wagon took a photo inside it, showing Young bleeding from the face while she sat, handcuffed, on top of what appears to be a seat belt.

Aggressive, seat belt-less rides known as “rough rides” or “nickel rides” have a long, fraught history in Philadelphia, but police policy says all detainees are to wear a seat belt while being transported.
Police said that whether she was belted will be determined as part of the ongoing investigation.

Department policy also says officers should transport someone needing medical attention directly to the nearest hospital. Young said she was driven first to police headquarters at Seventh and Race Streets, away from three hospitals in West Philadelphia and 4½ miles from where she was beaten and detained.

She said she asked an officer at headquarters for a napkin to wipe her still-burning face. They offered her a Clorox wipe, she said, then took her to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Center City for treatment.

Doctors performed X-rays and gave her pain medication, Young said. She was discharged, and officers took her back to the Roundhouse for processing, where they placed her in a holding cell and indicated she was being held for an assault on police.

Then, they released her.
No charges filed. She’s not sure what time it was but remembers the sun was up.

Finding the child

Doctors had told Young earlier in life that she was likely unable to have children, so it was unexpected when she sat her mother down three years ago to tell her that she was pregnant.

This year, Young and her son, whom she calls her best friend, have spent more time together than usual, playing in parks and watching sports, after she lost one of her jobs at a concert venue because of the pandemic. She said she hasn’t been back to work at her other job as a home health-care aide as she tends to her own injuries.

“Besides my family,” she says, “he’s all I have.”

The child is full of energy, the only thing slowing him are the signs of hearing loss he’s shown since birth, Young said. He typically wears hearing aids during the day.

But for weeks in November he went without them. They were left in the SUV police smashed on Oct. 27, along with Young’s wallet and purse. Gripp said he didn’t have any information indicating the items were seized or located. The vehicle remains in an impound lot, and Young’s attorneys are working with police to get it back.

Rickia Young says she's struggled to keep up with her toddler lately as she tends to injuries.

On the night of the incident, it was Young’s mother and sister who rushed out the door past 2 a.m. to find the toddler. Young had spoken to her sister briefly from the cell phone of one of the other women in the police wagon.

Young’s mother first went to 52nd Street, where officers relayed that the child was with police in Center City, near the DHS office at 15th and Arch Streets, Young’s attorney Kevin Mincey said. There, she came across a police vehicle parked near 15th and John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

Two officers sat in the front, Mincey said, and the boy was in the backseat. He was in his own car seat, and she could see glass in it. Young said she later learned that when officers allowed her mother to take the 2-year-old, she picked up her grandson and glass fell out of his hair.

It’s unclear where the child was kept between when he was separated from his mother and released to his grandmother, a time period police said was no longer than an hour. Several photos captured by professional photographers at the scene near 52nd Street show officers pulling the boy from the vehicle and holding him. He was barefoot.

Young said he’d kicked off his shoes in the car because he’s 2 and hates shoes.

So she cries to this day when she sees the photo of a young, white female officer seeming to hug her child. The officer in the photo was not wearing a mask, though Philadelphia police have since April been required to wear masks while on duty.

It’s not clear who took the picture. Philadelphia police are not supposed to use personal cell phones or cameras to film crime scenes except under extraordinary circumstances.

A screenshot of a Facebook post shared by the national Fraternal Order of Police. The nation's largest police union shared an image of a Philadelphia Police officer holding Rickia Young's 2-year-old son alongside a fake story that claimed the child was saved.

Two days later, the photo of Young’s toddler in a camo T-shirt, appearing to receive medical attention, was all over the internet. It had made its way to the national Fraternal Order of Police, the country’s largest police union, which shared the image alongside a caption that read:

This child was lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness. The only thing this Philadelphia police officer cared about in that moment was protecting this child.

We are not your enemy. We are the Thin Blue Line. And WE ARE the only thing standing between Order and Anarchy.

The Inquirer asked the FOP for comment within hours of the post going up on Facebook and Twitter. About 30 minutes later, the FOP deleted the posts, writing in a statement the next day that they did so after learning “of conflicting accounts of the circumstances under which the child came to be assisted by the officer.”

Riley H. Ross III, one of the attorneys representing Young and her son, said the image and fake story continue to spread on Facebook, and lawyers have sent letters to posters demanding the image and caption be removed. They want an apology from the FOP, which did not respond to a request for further comment last week.

Not only was the post harmful to Young, Ross said, but it had “racial undertones” that implied the people of the majority-Black neighborhood didn’t care about a child wandering barefoot during “violent riots.”

“We’re not going to let them paint the people of West Philadelphia this way,” he said. “We’re not going to let them paint Rickia this way. And we’re not going to let them be the saviors for this child, when in fact, the police were the ones that terrified this child.”

Young, who is Black, said while she believes her race played a role in how police acted that night, “no one deserves the treatment that I got.” Before this incident, she said, she hadn’t interacted with police much beyond being pulled over and issued a warning.

Now, she doesn’t want to be anywhere near them. When she went to the hospital for treatment days later, two uniformed officers walked by the room.

She closed her eyes and pulled the blanket over her head.

‘I’m speaking up for everyone’

Commissioner Outlaw said three days after the incident that while she didn’t know all the details, she had seen the video, and “what I saw, it was quite concerning.” She said at the time that one officer seen in the video “using the strikes against the car” was placed on restricted duty pending the outcome of the internal investigation.

Police didn’t release details on the identities of the five officers currently on restricted duty. The local police union declined to comment.

At a virtual press conference on October 27, 2020 Outlaw comments on the investigation of a two-year-old removed from a vehicle during unrest.

Gripp said Young has not agreed to be interviewed as part of the internal investigation. Mincey said that “we don’t need to participate in that” and that “[Internal Affairs] is for the police, it’s not for the public.”

Police misconduct, on or off-duty, rarely results in officers losing their jobs permanently because of the city’s arbitration process. An Inquirer analysis of 170 police arbitration decisions between 2011 and 2019 found the local police union successfully had discipline overturned or reduced in more than 70% of cases.

Ross said he hopes suing the department will force police to dramatically rethink training that he says creates an “us vs. them mentality.” Police said recently that after the killing of Wallace, they may reintroduce more extensive de-escalation training that was quietly discontinued years ago.

Young’s attorneys are still preparing a complaint. A city spokesperson declined to comment on the pending litigation.

O’Hanlon said he and Israel Schwartz, another attorney representing the 16-year-old, also plan to file a suit in the coming weeks. Among the details under consideration: who will be sued. Ideally, O’Hanlon said, they’d name individual officers as defendants.

Federal police brutality cases are typically lodged against the institution. Officers are generally shielded by a legal doctrine called “qualified immunity,” which protects public-sector workers from civil suits, except those who are “plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.”

Qualified immunity is a top target for activists who say police departments can’t be reformed while problem cops remain in their ranks.

Young spends time with her son at Malcolm X Park, just a few blocks from where she, her nephew, and her son were pulled from their SUV by police during unrest in late October.

Young has never been an activist type herself.

But she has spent weeks with little appetite, unable to sleep without feeling as if she’s lying under a pile of bricks. While she’s got a support system that includes family and her best friend, she’s also wrestled with a sense that this all could have gone differently.

Maybe no one would have known had there not been a video. Or maybe her injuries could have been worse. The woman who sat with her in the police wagon told Young she was going in and out of consciousness. “Her and my son,” Young said, “kept me awake.”

Today, she sees herself as a living testimony to the effects of police brutality.

“I’m speaking up for everyone who has lost they voice and who is scared to speak up,” she said. “I’m gonna speak up for them. Because it needs to stop. Justice has to be served.”

Young says she and her 2-year-old son remain traumatized as a result of the late October incident.
Site Admin
Posts: 31793
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

You're So Lucky You're White, by Trevor Noah

Postby admin » Fri Dec 11, 2020 10:34 pm

You're So Lucky You're White
This Staten Island Bar Owner Who Hit a Cop Is So Lucky He’s White

The Daily Social Distancing Show
by Trevor Noah
Dec 10, 2020


[Trevor Noah] Damn, it is good to be white in America. 'Cause I know a lot of white people are hurting right now,


but white people can also get away with shit in this country that nobody else could. So, you know what, I think there are some times when we just got to take a moment to appreciate it and be like, "Yo, man, you're so lucky you're white."


Tonight's story takes place in Staten Island, which is a little pocket of red America inside deep blue New York City.


You know, like if Elmo drowned at sea. And the lucky white person at the center of this story is Danny Presti, bar manager and hairy egg.


His luck began a week ago when he found the courage to take a stand against staying alive.

As of November 20, 2020 we hereby declare this establishment an
We refuse to abide by any rules and regulations put forth by the Mayor of NYC and Governor of NY State.

[Newswoman, ABC7NY.com] For a small bar on Staten Island, Mac's Public House has become a national lightning rod in the pandemic lockdown. When the southern portion of Staten Island went into the orange zone last month, the owner of Mac's Public House said he could not afford to close again, so he declared his property an autonomous zone.


[Newswoman 2] He's posted statements on the windows refusing to abide by any rules and regulations put forth by the mayor of New York City and the governor.

[Crowd] [Chanting] Open up! Open up!


[Newswoman 3] Hundreds of protesters outside the now infamous Mac's Public House on Staten Island tonight demanding it open for business.


[Crowd] [Chanting] USA! USA! USA!

[Danny Presti] We are a community. We take back our community. We're all together.


We take back Staten Island tonight!


[Trevor Noah] Okay, right away, I think we can all agree that this dude is behaving very, uh, white. Yes.


Because it's a very white thing to do to just declare yourself an independent if you don't like the law.


I mean, the American Revolution was basically white guys saying, "I'll drink tea when I want to drink tea. Goddamn it. The queen's gonna tell me it's high tea. I want ... What if I want low tea? Or no tea? What about coffee?"


Not to mention, he just declared himself autonomous in front of an American flag. I love these kinds of people, man. They always want it both ways. "America is tyrannical, so I declare myself independent. USA!"

But for real, man. White people never cease to amaze me.


I mean, they will follow all the rules of "Escape the Room" to the letter, but the moment you ask them to wear a mask, they turn into freedom fighters. Where was that freedom-loving attitude when I try to pick the lock instead of searching for clues, huh, Chad?


Huh, Chad?!

Now eventually, the police did come to shut down this bar, and that, my friends, is when Danny Presti's luck really started.


[Newsman] That defiant general manager of a Staten Island bar was released without bail after he was arrested for hitting a sheriff's deputy with his car.



This weekend, deputies tried to arrest Danny Presti after he allowed people to gather at Mac's Public House when it was supposed to be shut down. When they followed him up the block to his car, they say he ran and drove off, hitting a deputy who rolled onto his hood.


And despite this surveillance video that shows the incident, Presti has a different version of what happened.


[Danny Presti] I think when the investigation is complete, you're gonna find out that I did nothing wrong.


[Trevor Noah] OOH-WEE! That dude is so lucky he's white. [chuckles] Yo, can you imagine? Cops say you hit one of them with your car, and then you get released without bail.


NO BAIL! [chuckles] Best believe, if he was Black, those cops would've dragged him out of his car, beat the shit out of him, and then beat the shit out of his car.


And you got to appreciate how he's saying, "When the investigation is complete, you'll see that I did nothing wrong."


My man, you're on video! The investigation's over. It lasted five seconds.


My eyes just did the investigation, and they saw your ass drive into some police.


Case closed. [Pounds on the gavel]

So, instead of being punished for plowing into a cop, this guy gets away with it like he's in Grand Theft Auto. And it's even better than that. At least in Grand Theft Auto, you got to go into hiding for a bit before you're safe. But no, this guy immediately went to brag about it on Fox News.

[Sean Hannity, Fox News] And I'm looking at your business, and you're getting killed. And these restrictions ...


I mean, do people really understand your heart, life and soul is involved in this, sir?


[Newsman] Now, I just want to say, I applaud a lot of these small business owners that peacefully, uh, push back against this, because, uh, they have no other recourse.


[Newswoman] What it just goes to show you is people are frustrated, and they're protective. And they feel like the government is not looking out for them.

[Sean Hannity, Fox News] I don't know if I should reveal this, Danny, but I actually know cops that are telling you privately, whispering in your ear, that they don't want to do this to you. They're being forced to.


And I'm really sorry that you're going through all this, to be very honest.


[Trevor Noah] Damn, boy, you so lucky you white.


This dude has a whole network apologizing to him for running over a policeman.


A policeman! This is not just any network, but Fox News! Fox always stands with cops against Black people, but when it's a white guy, suddenly Fox goes,


"Uh, breaking news. F*o/ok the police! Smoke weed every day."


They even told him he was "peacefully pushing back," when he was pushing with his car!




When Black people just walk in the street, Fox calls it a riot.


But this white guy drives into a cop, a police officer, an officer of the law, and Fox News is like, "Now, this is a hit-and-run ... This is a hit-and-run that Martin Luther King Jr. would have been proud of."


But I've got one question for you, Fox News -- What happened to Blue Lives Matter? Huh? What happened to Blue Lives Matter?


I guess technically, it's Blue Lives Matter is above Black Lives Matter,


but the number one thing is "WHITE LIVES MATTER!"

So there you have it. This guy declares himself above the law, hosts potential super-spreader parties at his bar, treats the police like bowling pins, and now he's a Fox News hero.


There is nothing else to say except, my man, "You're so lucky you're white."
Site Admin
Posts: 31793
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Return to Slavery 2.0: Racist Cops and the Prison Industrial Complex

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests