BLACK MAN WALKING
By Author Tamara Neal
As a former 911 Operator, it was not uncommon to receive calls from people based on the color of a person skin. During my tenure taking emergency 911 calls I do not recall receiving a call from someone saying there is a White Man, Chinese Man, or any other ethnic group walking down their street. However, I received countless calls from people of many different ethnic groups, stating that there is a “Black Man “walking down their street.
Many callers would scream into the phone with great urgency “HURRY UP, GET SOMEONE OUT HERE, “and when asked what was going on the caller would say, “THERE IS A BLACK MAN WALKING DOWN MY STREET, “ When asked what the Black Man was doing they would simply say “Nothing, he doesn’t belong around here, now hurry up and get someone out, before he gets away! “
The call would be dispatched as a suspicious subject or check location. As a 911 operator, it was my job to assure the safety of the public, regardless of how racially motivated the caller sounded. Countless times the police would go out and find that the person was visiting a neighbor, lived in the neighborhood and sometime the Black Man would be an undercover officer.
The Black Man walking down my street call, was so common for people to call in, simply because a Black Man was seen in the area that Black undercover police officers would sometimes notify the 911 center that they were at a location and not to dispatch a call for a Black Man sitting in a vehicle, to avoid blowing their cover, when the uniformed police were sent out for a suspicious subject call.
Yes, we all need neighborhood block watch and citizens on patrol but to racially profile a person and think that it is okay to have a person who maybe visiting a friend, taking a walk around their neighborhood or doing their job, suddenly being pulled over and questioned by the police, without cause, while you sit in your house and remain anonymous KNOW that call could be life threatening or at the very least humiliating for the Black Man and a waste of man power for the police department.
I can remember taking the call from a caller who sounded like an elderly white male yelling in the phone, “GET THE POLICE OUT HERE, I HAVE A NIGGER, WALKING AROUND OUT SIDE MY HOUSE!” When I asked what was going on, the caller said “HE’S IN MY DAM NEIGHBORHOOD AND (the N word) DON’T BELONG AROUND HERE, THAT IS WHAT IS GOING ON, NOW HURRY UP AND GET SOMEBODY OUT HERE, BEFORE HE GETS AWAY. “When I advised the caller that it was not against the law for a BLACK MAN to be in the neighborhood, the caller said,” WELL HE IS SELLING DRUGS,” When asked did he know where the drugs were, the caller said, “THEY ARE IN HIS RECTUM!” (for lack of the use of the (A) word)
I do not know what happened to that BLACK MAN WALKING when the police arrived with the information that they were given and something tells me, that as the mother of BLACK MEN WALKING, I do not want to know!
Yes, it is time to break the silence of the (ANONYMOUS FREQUENT CALLERS) who place racially motivated calls and use the police to harass, search, arrest and destroy the lives of innocent BLACK MEN WALKING simply because they feel that it is a crime for a BLACK MAN TO BE WALKING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD in which they reside but DON’T OWN! Calling in a false police report is a crime and should be punishable by law! Author Tamara Neal www.tamaraneal.com .#authortamara #blacklivesmatter www.tamaraneal.com #BlackManwalking