"I just wanna go home. I just wanna go out and play."— Ricky Morales (@koffi_stains) June 8, 2017
No person, let alone child, deserves this brutal treatment. https://t.co/66gcKwsAz6
An African-American boy is lying in a hospital fighting for his life for the crime of entering a gym where a group of white men were working out.
Naji Tribble, a 14-year old living in Brewerytown, Philadelphia, and a group of his friends bought snacks from a store as part of their afternoon activities and decided to go next door to Steelworks Strength Systems, a new gym that recently replaced a state store they had never been allowed inside.
However, when they went inside to check out the equipment, they encountered a group of mostly white men, who chased them out with racial slurs. After they left the building, the boys were still pursued by a white gym patron and some of them threw a few stones at the man. They then ran away but Naji continued at his normal pace because “he didn’t do anything wrong,” according to him.
Nevertheless, the white man ran up to the 4-foot, 70-lb. Naji, allegedly grabbed him by the shirt, threatened him and called him “little n*****” repeatedly. Once the man let him go, the teenager ran to his house and told his family, who quickly arrived outside the gym to investigate.
As it turned out, the man was Kevin Furman, an off-duty Philadelphia police officer, and as it unfortunately happens when a black person has an interaction with a cop, the situation quickly escalated from bad to worse. Furman reportedly grabbed Naji’s 19-year-old sister Nayanda and choked-slammed her to the ground. He then allegedly grabbed Naji and slammed his head to the ground.
“I can hear his head hit against the pavement,” said Nayanda.
By that time, a string of neighbors had started coming out and were trying to calm Furman. Fifteen minutes after Furman allegedly cracked Naji’s head on the ground, police started arriving — only to find the officer playing victim. He alleged that the teenager had punched his wife “in the back of her head,” for which Naji was charged with simple assault. However, the boy claimed this was a lie and there was no woman anywhere in sight when Furman attacked him.
However, the cops took Furman’s side, called everybody on the scene “motherf*****s” and threw Naji in the back of the police car. Moments later, an ambulance arrived and took the teenager to the hospital where the doctors told them he was in stable condition.
To add insult to the injury, when the family insisted a CAT scan be done on the boy, doctors told them they did not want to expose him to unnecessary radiation.
Police then handcuffed the teenager to the bed and after the hospital released him, arrested him and charged him with simple assault and recklessly endangering a person.
Naji was released early the next morning and the family took him for additional tests at a hospital where it was discovered that all was not right with him, as doctors previously said. Instead, Naji had a fractured skull and now is no longer as active and suffered several seizures.
As of now, the 14-year-old is still in hospital and his family has compelled Internal Affairs to look into his case.
In this case, both law enforcement officers and medical professionals failed to do their jobs properly. As for Naji, he may never recover from the trauma and is still awaiting justice.
I want justice for Naji Tribble?? His story is heartbreaking.— butterfly (@Subz10ce) June 8, 2017
Prayers up for Naji Tribble. I pray this young man recovers and lives life normal.— B?M (@Bamcmxci) June 7, 2017
Naji Tribble is 14 years old. I have a brother the same age. Seeing images of that child chained to a hospital bed was a disaster.— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) June 7, 2017
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters