White woman defends black man from US police

Perhaps it’s a reflection of our high-tech society. Every day seems to bring new videos of alleged police brutality, where law enforcement officers employ questionable tactics when dealing with black suspects.

According to Washington Post columnist Clinton Yates, what occurred on the afternoon of 1 October isn’t one of those cases – but perhaps it could have been under different circumstances.

Two Washington Metro Police officers – both black – were responding to a household burglary alarm in a posh District of Columbia neighbourhood and encountered a 64-year-old black man carrying two bags. When they questioned him, they say he became “loud and boisterous”. They ordered him to the ground.

“Start Quote

Just because he’s black, doesn’t mean he’s here to rob a house”

Jody WestbyWashington, DC, resident

At that point, a local resident – a middle-aged white woman named Jody Westby – came out from her house and confronted the police.

She instructed her housekeeper to record the events. She said she knew the man – a local worker – and that the police had no right to detain him. She told the officers that she was a lawyer and, upon learning the address of the burglary report, that they weren’t even on the right street.

She grabbed the detained man’s hand and said she was leaving, telling the police to “please leave our neighbourhood”.

The officer reluctantly let Ms Westby and the man go.

As she walked away, Ms Westby said: “Just because he’s black doesn’t mean he’s here to rob a house. He works for us. He’s been in this neighbourhood for 30 years.”

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