This is a story about my 16 year old son being harassed and followed by an overzealous neighborhood vigilante and overzealous cop. There was a burglary in a neighborhood that my son walked through on his way to football practice. He was walking on a well travelled path on the public sidewalk. He didn't stop or wonder around anywhere. He just walked in a normal pace as he listened to his iPod with his headphones on. He was being pursued by a gentleman who he had spoken to earlier and wasn't aware that he had called the police and continued to follow him. The police used unnecessary force (drawing his weapon) and handcuffed my son without reading him any rights or explaining to him why he was detaining him until my child asked him. It was broad daylight. The first sunny and hot day in the summer. It was on a busy road with no obstructed view and the police made a terrible decision to approach him in this manner. The insult to injury is that the Officer or the Neighbor did not apologize to my son. I was told that there would not be a report by another Officer that arrived on the scene later and the Internal Affairs Officer that there probably would not be a report because my son was not arrested. I had to request police records of the burglary and file a complaint with the Columbus Police Department about Precinct #18 just to have a conversation about proper protocol about approaching a minor in a non-hostile environment, which of course they said the Officer's actions were proper. Yes, the Officer who is Black, responded to what was called in but his response was overzealous in this non-hostile situation. Xzavier is a good child who just wanted to get to football practice. He is very deserving of an apology and alot more. The neighbor, Mike Eberts, was malicious and careless in reporting my son as a suspect. They don't even know when the house was burglarized. The actual homeowner was away from the home from 8:30-12:30p.m. and came home to a broken in front door. It is unclear as to why my son was so suspicious to this gentleman. It is also unclear as to why the police dispatcher did not ask him anymore questions about the "suspiciousness" of my son. She didn't ask about his behavior or actions. She just accepted what she was being told. The police officer was very careless in his handling of my son. Why was there no report of my sons apprehension and detention even if they let him go. They drew a weapon on him, searched him, and detained him in the back of the cruiser in the middle of the street. He suffered embarrassment and fear for his own safety for just walking down the street. What does it take before someone pays attention to this? Will it take another death. Not one time did the Dispatcher say not to follow my son. Who cared about the safety of my child?My INNOCENT child? Noone knew what that neighbor was capable of or even stable. He was exempt from his exam for the day so I approved his missing school. We have proof of his whereabouts with a date/time stamp on a money order from a neighborhood store. They just drove my son to football practice without an apology or anything. It wasn't until I put it on the news, in the newspaper, and on the radio, that everyone became concerned about explaining things to me as the parent. This needs to stop. There is a bigger issue at hand here and I thought everyone got the message at the expense of Trayvon Martin's life and his parents anguish. These statistics are not being captured and people are not being held accountable for their actions. Help me to get this story out and continue the discussion of racial profiling.
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