by Marcel Diallo
It’s Memorial Day, and I was just harassed and detained with unnecessary force right in front of my house on Pine Street by a Sgt. D. Ming, serial number 8493, for about an hour. He called four additional squad cars to back him up. After driving my truck around the corner from my house to pick up a folding table from in front of my friend’s house at 10th and Wood Street that we used to play dominoes earlier, I drove back around the corner to my house at 10th and Pine Street one short block away.
As I drove off from 10th and Wood, I saw a police car driving up and down the street looking for trouble as they had been doing all day. By the time I got back to my house and got out the truck, this officer had rolled up behind me, flashed his lights and ordered me back into the vehicle.
I told him that I was in front of MY house where my partner and four children lay asleep inside, in MY neighborhood that I live and work in, on MY block that I am the majority property owner on, and asked him if I was under arrest and, if I am not under arrest, then why do I have to get back into the car. He persisted on ordering me back into the car without answering my questions.
As I continued questioning him, he approached me, twisted my arm and slapped the handcuffs on me. As he attempted to de-humanize me, I told him that he was harassing the wrong person and that I would be filing a full complaint against him and OPD. He then applied more unnecessary pressure to my wrists causing the handcuffs to dig into my wrists.
Before he could stuff me into the back of the car, I yelled out for my partner and my neighbors to come outside and witness the harassment. My partner came out the house as well as two of my neighbors from a few houses down the street. There was another officer present who recognized me, as I was telling Sgt. Ming who I was. This other officer said: “Yeah, I know who you are. You drive the white Mustang. Just get in the back of the car.”
As I sat in the back of the squad car damn near suffocating for about an hour with the heat full blast and all four windows rolled completely up, Sgt. Ming called for backup. Another cop came and did an illegal search of my truck, while Sgt. Ming conducted an unnecessary questioning of my partner who was standing in front of our house in the freezing cold to bear witness to the harassment.
By this time there were about six officers and five squad cars in front of my house at 12:30 am in the morning. After searching my truck and keeping me detained for an unnecessary amount of time, Ming came back to the back of the squad car and continued to play this “whose nuts is bigger” game with me.
But I am not the type to bow down, so I kept answering him the same way. I told him he had no right to detain me, no right to search my vehicle and no cause to use such excessive force with me and that he was just trying to make me bow down to him by threatening to take me to jail and bending my arms. Since I didn’t see it his way, he accused me of resisting arrest and threatening him – two pieces of bullshit that didn’t even hold enough weight to make it onto the bogus ticket he wrote me for not having both license plates and driving against traffic.
I told him that he could see with his own eyes that the truck had the temporary moving permit with the big number 7 on it right there totally visible in the window. I paid the registration and obtained all the necessary permits to move the truck the day after I purchased it at the auction last Wednesday.
I just bought the truck for the Village Bottoms Farm Project we are doing on Pine Street. I told him that DMV gave me the permit to get it smogged and handle a few other things before they’ll give me license plates and that the permit takes care of that, so why is he still trying to stick me with something. He told me that these were just “fix it” tickets that he was giving me. Yeah, fix it tickets to attempt to cover his own ass because he knows he messed up and harassed the wrong person.
After stalling and wasting hell of my time, he came and took the handcuffs off of me one at a time, right hand first so that he could make sure I signed his bogus ticket before he let me go. Then he tells me that all of this could have been avoided if I would have followed his direct orders because he has never seen me before and had no way of knowing who I was.
I told him that following his bogus commands would be fine if I was a police dog, but I’m a citizen of Oakland and a human being in front of my house, and as far as I’m concerned he is the intruder who is unlawfully encroaching upon my right to be free and live a peaceful, stress-free life.
Good people, do you think it’s okay to get harassed and bogusly detained by the police in front of your house? The question I have is, are they here to serve and protect or to break our necks?
I am calling on all of you who know me to write into the city attorney’s office, the office of the mayor and the chief of police to let them know that this type of harassment of public citizens will not be tolerated in the city of Oakland. I will be filing a complaint with the city attorney against the police department and seeking damages for this one, I would appreciate your support on this because too often, things like this happen and we never follow through with the complaint process.
You can call or fax the Mayor’s Office – (510) 238-3141, fax (510) 238-4731 – or email the mayor, city council, city attorney, city manager, city auditor and city clerk all at once: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcel Diallo is chief creative officer of Black Dot Artists, Inc. He can be reached at email@example.com or (510) 451-4661.