They say that once someone gets into the system it’s hard to get out. This story about Terry Robinson, 22, of St. Louis happens to be a perfect example of this. Not that Robinson is yet another one of these young men intent to live a life of crime. Instead, however, Robinson’s story is yet another one of those in a long line of institutional racism and police harassment.
A resident of North St. Louis, Robinson has had his brushes with the law. But as he attempts to turn his life around for the better, as reported by KMOV, Robinson continues to face police harassment.
This week, however, in one of his encounters Robinson was handcuffed and placed in the backseat of a police car. While taken for an assumed ride to jail, with 9 years left on probation, while looking for someone to set up on gun charges, Robinson was intimidated by officers and was told that if he didn’t comply, they — the cops — would see to it that he is prosecuted for gun possession. And of course, this would mean an automatic 9 year prison sentence, at least.
Luckily for Robinson, the entire exchange was recorded on his cell phone
On Monday Terry Robinson, 21, said officers saw him outside in the Blair neighborhood, handcuffed him and pretended to drive back to the police station. Robinson caught the conversation inside the police cruiser on his cell phone.
Robinson has been arrested before and is currently on probation. He said he promised his mother that, if she got him a good lawyer, he would stay out of trouble.
He is reportedly back in school and working to turn his life around. If he gets in trouble again, he faces at least nine years in prison.
He said for weeks, two officers have been harassing him, claiming they want him to give up a name of anyone they can plant a gun on or else they’ll arrest him.
When asked where the gun was, Robinson said they had one but never showed it to him. The officers told him “I have a fully-loaded 38.”
Officers were unaware that Robinson was filming the ride on his cell phone.
“Your nine years are going to seem like four times more. I know y’all said you need a gun and a body, got to have a body with it,” said NAME. “I don’t need no gun case. You know I’ll get you somebody.”
Robinson said they made it very clear what they’d do if he didn’t give up a name.
“If you don’t give me anything in the next 24-hours then I’ll write this case up as you ran from me but you got away. But I know who you are and you had this gun.”
While in the cruiser, Robinson pleaded with officers to give him a little more time.
But instead of finding another man to arrest, Robinson contacted his lawyer. The video has been turned over to authorities and detectives with internal affairs are investigating.
A few things to think about:
- Police harassment and intimidation is very rea;.
- What was did to Robinson happens all the time across the country.
- Such police practices creates mistrust and increases the divide in communities of color.
So here’s a stupid question: can you tell me what would have happenened if the actions of the cops in question were not caught on tape? Even more stupid question: can you imagine what will happen to Robinson after the cops in question are disciplined? Yep, see how that police harassment thing works? Yeah, we need more of this stuff exposed; and, the cops involved should be held accountable.
With such strong evidence, something must be done.
Watch the video below: