The Complexity of Not Calling the Police While Black

Photo: iStock

The news has lately been inundated with examples of white folks (and even some nonwhite folks) doing the ultimate whitefolkin’ of calling the police for no reason on black folks who were doing nothing but existing and living their everyday lives.

From Starbucks to walking in the park with our own children or trying to get home, if you’re black, you’re a threat to societal peace and harmony. For many, I guess, calling the police is an entitlement due to the tax dollars being spent to hold up (no pun intended) the department.

For others of us, though, it’s not that simple.

I honestly can’t remember ever calling the police on anybody. And it hasn’t always been because of the ever-increasing database of proof we have of police interactions going wrong.

For most of my life, it’s been rooted in my deep distrust for the police in general. Sure, I like individuals who happen to be police officers, but I’m totally cool on the institution itself.


I had to call the police (for insurance purposes) when my car was stolen from in front of my own home and them motherfuckers still found a way to try to blame it on me. I don’t even need to tell you how I feel, just know that N.W.A said it best.

Despite not calling them, that doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it. A lot. I live in a neighborhood that damn near begs for it sometimes. But I just can’t. I can’t … risk it. And I know I’m not the only person who feels that way.

But my neighbors have tested the entire fuck out of my patience at times. And especially now, with kids, it creates a situation where some taxpayer-funded interventions might help … but I just can’t.


I bought my house in 2012 in Southeast Washington, D.C. My neighborhood is in the city’s poorest section of the city, Ward 8.

While it’s got its fair share of inner-city issues—a 15-year-old Ballou High School student was murdered Wednesday down the street from my house—it is also a very vibrant neighborhood.

People are always outside and kids are running around, ringing my damn doorbell and running away. You know, normal inner-city shit. On any given Saturday or Sunday morning during the summer,

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.