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Black Teens Assaulted By Park Police for Selling Water

At the National Mall in Washington, DC, the law says you need a permit to sell anything. It isn’t that unusual that during the hot summer tourist season some kids will come up with the idea of rolling out a cooler full of iced water bottles and selling them to the visitors. Usually, if caught – that winds up in a simple talking to by the Park Police telling them to pack up and go, informing them that they need a permit and where to get one. No big deal. Indeed, unless the kids are serial abusers of the statute – not even so much as a ticket.

Except when the kids involved are a group of black teens, and the “cops” in question are out of control.

The National Mall is for everyone. Even a few entrepreneurial teens who run afoul of the Park Service taxation scheme to collect money from every single vendor.

These cops heads need to roll.

4 Black Teens Detained For Selling Water At National Mall Were Treated Like A ‘Threat’

A D.C. councilman wrote a letter to the U.S. Park Police chief calling out the glaring racial double standard.

 

 

Four young black men were handcuffed by undercover police Thursday for selling water on the grounds of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Tim Krepp, a tour guide at the mall, told HuffPost he had just finished his shift when he saw the young men being detained by plainclothes park policemen.

Krepp, who has been a tour guide for nearly 11 years, said that he has seen young boys and girls selling water “all the time” but has never witnessed anyone be detained by police as a result. He said seeing the young men sitting handcuffed on the ground and being searched by the cops immediately struck him ― so he took pictures of the moment and shared them on Twitter.

Krepp’s tweet has since been retweeted more than 15,000 times, sparking widespread outrage over the officers’ actions.

“There’s no way you can avoid the obvious imagery of young black men being handcuffed and clearly being treated as a threat with white cops around,” Krepp told HuffPost.

“Images matter and symbols matter, especially at the National Mall when you’re here to see symbols and images to learn,” he added. “That’s why it’s here, this is a sacred space to talk about our national history and the cops should be aware of that.”

The tweet has even led D.C. Councilman Charles Allen to issue a letter to the U.S. Park Police chief denouncing the officers’ actions and calling out the racial double standard around this case.

“I can’t help but think how the reaction by these same officers might have varied if different children had set up a quaint hand-painted lemonade stand on the same spot,” Allen wrote. “While still the same violation of selling a beverage without proper permits and licenses, I doubt we would have seen little girls in pigtails handcuffed on the ground.”

Sgt. Anna Rose of the U.S. Park Police said in a statement Friday that “officers placed them in handcuffs for the safety of the officers and of the individuals,” according to NBC Washington.

The young men were reportedly given a verbal warning and eventually released, but Krepp believes this incident speaks to a broader issue around policing and black lives.

“We want quality, community policing ― we want it to work well and that wasn’t what I saw,” he said.

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2017 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Nations Oldest Park Ranger Words of Wisdom

This is awesome!

If you are over 55 and grew up in the Southern US – you more than likely remember segregation and Jim Crow having lived through the last parts of it. Ranger Soskin at 92 years of age has seen much of the change in this country starting before WWII. Her insights are fascinating…

Nation’s oldest full-time park ranger, from California, furloughed

The nation’s oldest full-time national park ranger, who works at the  Rosie the Riveter museum in Richmond, Calif., recently joined the ranks of the furloughed because of the ongoing U.S. government shutdown.

Betty Reid Soskin, 92, is a ranger at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park in Northern California.

“At 92, I am very sensitive to the passage of time. We learned about the furlough gradually,” Soskin said told the Associated Press last week. “When it came at midnight (on) October 1, it seemed like a major interruption in my life because I don’t have time and these young folks were wasting my time, precious time.”

To make matters worse for Soskin, California officials refused Friday to use state money to open national parks, which means no reprieve for Soskin.

Soskin works three days a week as a tour guide and two days in the administrative office at the park that honors not only the famous Rosie but also tells the story of the home front during WWII.

Soskin became a park ranger seven years ago and leads tours at the park and museum that honors the women who worked in factories during wartime.But that all changed last week when the government shut down.

“It was like hitting a wall to come out from under my hat and back into civvies,” Soskin said.

She said she feels uncertain when she watches the developments between lawmakers in Washington, D.C., unfold on television.

“There are times when I feel like the only grown-up in the room. It’s a little disconcerting to feel like no one’s in charge. That’s the feeling I have when I watch the news,” Soskin said. “There are not enough wiser heads in Washington to determine where we should go. That uncertainty is unnerving.”

The National Park Service confirms that Soskin is the oldest full-time park ranger. At 93, Lyle Ruterbories, who works at Glacier National Park in Kintla Lake, Mont., near the U.S. and Canadian border, is the oldest seasonal ranger the park service is aware of, park service spokesman Jeff Olson told the AP this week.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2013 in Black History, The Post-Racial Life

 

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