*It happens all the time. Black folk going about their business and suddenly some a-hole cop decides for no apparent reason to stop and hassle somebody for basically being black on a sunny day.
That’s what happened to Dr. Armen Henderson, an African-American doctor who was handcuffed and detained outside his Miami home Friday (04-10-20) as he was wearing a mask and preparing for a volunteer shift to test homeless people for COVID-19.
“I want the officer held accountable. There’s no way that you racially profile me and then you arrest me, detain me, during a pandemic, when you have no mask on, where hundreds of police officers throughout Miami-Dade County have tested positive,” says Dr. Henderson, who is an internal medicine physician, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Miami and an organizer with Dream Defenders.
OK, let’s back up a bit and dive into the backstory. Not only was the incident caught on video (watch it below), Henderson wrote about it on Facebook on Saturday (04-11-20).
“The Miami Police Department has officers trying to cuff me for unloading boxes of tents in front of my own damn house. Tents I was going to take to the houseless,” he wrote.
“No mask, all up in my face, pointing fingers trying to intimidate me like I was his child,” Henderson wrote.
“If was a fairer-skin person or a white person, just doing the same thing, I don’t believe he would’ve stopped me,” Henderson told CNN.
“It was the nature of the stop that really concerned me.”
Henderson said he was cuffed when he asked the officer for his ID.
Henderson called out to his wife who was standing on the front porch with their two children.
“All of a sudden, he’s got his finger all up in my face, he’s pointing at me, yelling at me, saying, ‘You’re going to call me sir, call me sergeant.’ It was very humiliating.”
Henderson said the cop told his wife he was being arrested because of his attitude. Henderson then said the cop removed the handcuffs and drove off.
Henderson, as he’s quoted at the top of this story, said he wants an apology from the cop. Meanwhile, Police Chief Jorge Colina released a statement after Henderson’s story went viral.
“The City of Miami Police Department does not condone or accept profiling of any kind,” Colina said. “We’ve been made aware of a video that’s been circulating of an encounter that occurred on Friday on April the 10. This encounter involves a City of Miami Police Sergeant, who stops outside of a resident’s home.”
Colina stated, “We have had a litany of complaints pertaining to illegal dumping.”
He said the cop observed a cargo van parked in front of the house, “where there appears to be trash that’s being offloaded. That’s the genesis of the stop.”
Colina said Henderson’s complaint will be investigated.
They can start with making that a-hole cop apologize to Dr. Henderson.