Black and White Church Members Unite to Condemn Police Brutality
The mood in Ardmore, Pennsylvania is somber. Residents are concerned that racial tensions are mounting because of police brutality, and they are now uniting.
For them – just as the rest of the United States – ethnic profiling is becoming a pressing matter.
Late last week both black and white community members of a small church placed their concerns to the township commissioners in a meeting.
What happened to Nathanial Williams was fresh in the minds of all those present.
On Monday, November 2 the 58-year-old was waiting to catch a bus to go to his doctor.
He wears a pacemaker and was on his way for a checkup.
Unbeknown to him, police were on the hunt for a bank robbery suspect who had stolen money from a branch of TD bank a few blocks away.
The thief was described as a black man wearing a brown hoodie and carrying a bag.
When the officer saw Williams, they immediately assumed he was the person they were looking for.
He was forced to his knees and then handcuffed – shortly after the cops realized they had the wrong man.
Yet, they did not let him go until an employee of the bank came across the street to confirm that he was not who they were looking for.
Not only does this case point to racial profiling, but also the use of excessive force.
In another incident in January two African-American teenagers, who were hired by a local woman from a wealthy neighborhood to shovel her sidewalk, were made to sit in the snow by the cops while they performed background checks on the kids.
Also present at the church was a township Parks and Recreation Department employee.
Lee X says he was on his way back home when the police stopped him, made him get down on his knees and handcuffed him - while he asked them what he had done.
He later found out that someone had raped a woman close by and the suspect was an African-American male.
Officers in Ardmore do not wear body cams and residents are increasingly beginning to ask for it.