Is this another case of cops profiling a person just because he was born black? A video on Facebook shows an African-American teenager being harassed by a white police officer, just for cutting grass, apparently.
Marlin Gipson of Houston, Texas, said he was going door-to-door to distribute his lawn mowing service business cards with his brothers when he was approached by a cop.
“When I saw you, you were going door-to-door-to-door,” the officer is heard saying in the video.
Gipson responded by telling him he was promoting his lawn mowing service and showed him his business card.
“Well, that’s what I’m trying to find out,” said the cop.
The statement was quite unnecessary as Gipson’s brothers were mowing lawns, but the teen decided to answer the officer any way.
“Well, that’s all you had to ask,” said the young man. “You see me cutting grass.”
It was quite obvious what the teens were doing. They were doing nothing illegal. But it’s apparent the cop even found this innocuous job suspicious.
The cop then demanded Gipson show him his ID, to which the teen replied he didn’t have it at the moment. However, the officer insisted on getting his name and date of birth down. When Gipson asked what he was doing, the officer feigned incredulity, stating he was “investigating what he was doing.”
“When an officer asks you for your ID, you’re supposed to provide your ID. You don’t have your ID. I don’t care what you’re doing,” the officer said.
However, as pointed out, that is not strictly true. Texas is not a “stop and identify” state, so the teen didn’t have to give up any identifying information. He also could have opted to stay silent, but unfortunately, Gipson did not know any of this.
The teen, in turn, asked the officer to show him his card and tell him his name. The officer responded by pulling out a pair of handcuffs and told him to turn around and place his hands on his head.
Gipson hastily backed away as his crewmembers noticed the commotion and came to speak in his defense.
“You cannot put me in handcuffs, sir. Put them back in your pocket,” said Gipson.
The video then cut forward to the cop, who just can’t seem to leave Gipson alone, standing outside the teen’s house.
The officer said he just wanted to talk but the teen knew he was being harassed. He told the cop to get out of his yard but he refused to do so and kept saying he needed to get the man identified. The segment of the video ends as the cop walked toward the house and Gipson slammed the door in his face.
Several pictures of a punctured arm are then shown in the footage.
Gipson recounted his entire ordeal on a You Caring page he set up and detailed what allegedly happened.
He said as he made his way home, the cop placed two of his brothers under arrest. He then came to his home, kicked open their house door and handcuffed his 13-year-old sister and two other siblings before coming for him.
The cop followed him to the bathroom, Tasered him in the back and then commanded his K-9 to attack. As the dog grabbed the teen, the officer once again Tasered Gibson. He then placed him in handcuffs, stomped on his back twice and told him he shouldn’t have gone home.
This account from Gipson has not been confirmed.
The teen said the entire ordeal not just damaged his arm but his business prospects as well, especially because it happened in his neighborhood. He was also fired from his full-time job at Wal-Mart when word got out he was in an altercation with a cop.
He is now asking for help to recoup his lost wages and build up his business. As of writing this, he has received $17,239 of a $25,000 goal.
JC Mosier of the Harris County Constable’s Office, Precinct One, said he has not seen the video but the cop was called to the neighborhood because apparently some neighbors were concerned about Gipson knocking on doors. According to him, that’s “typical burglar behavior.”
He also said the teen’s account of being attacked by the dog is correct. The dog was unleashed on his because Gipson was resisting arrest.
It can be argued whether the cop’s first stop was actually legal because if knocking on doors is considered a criminal activity, it does not bode well for America.
I pray Mr. Marlin Gipson gets his JUST day in court and eventually sues the county or police dept or whomever needs to pay for the gross— E'rythingIsShacka (@_NinJaNae_) July 27, 2017
"Law enforcement" racially targeted these Blk youths in Houston because he said they looked suspicious while mowing lawns. pic.twitter.com/TVJ4EmNVWk— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) July 27, 2017
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Shannon Stapleton