As part of the United States’ history of racism, Americans of African descent have had to endure the subsets of hundreds of years of being thought of as less than a person and treated like animals. That’s a difficult reality to grapple with, and a fact that all too often, some would rather dismiss than acknowledge as legitimate.
Since the 1600s, epithets like monkey, n*gger, darkie, coon, and more, have been used to denigrate brown people to less than their white counterparts. Additionally, systemic measures such as voting laws, discriminatory practices in housing/employment, disparities in the criminal justice system, and more have also been used to widen the divide between what it means to have white skin and what it means to have brown skin of any shade in America.
In that same vein excuses like “they all look the same to me,” have been used by accusers and law enforcement officials alike, to justify wrongful arrests/imprisonment, police brutality, and more. It must have been a little bit of “they all look alike” and a little bit of abuse of authority that landed Atlanta resident Warren Hill in a situation that he says has left him with horrible scars, both mental and physical.
According to Hill, he was mistaken for a suspect in a domestic violence matter. That case of mistaken identity led to Hill being chased, run over and subsequently arrested by an officer from the Atlanta Police Department.
Terrified from the feeling that it’s open season on unarmed brown men, as well as by the abundance of shootings by police nationwide, Hill admits to having run from the officer when he realized he was being pursued. However, Hill says that fleeing, under those circumstances, was in no way reason to have been mercilessly run down as he was.
Adding insult to injury, Hill was ultimately arrested or an old warrant for driving with a broken tail light and failing to appear in court. Yes, after he says he was run over, Hill was still taken into custody for what some may say are two frivolous offenses that could’ve been addressed in less restrictive ways.
Hill can’t believe how he was treated:
‘I was trying to get away from the cops and I was scared of the cops, so I ran. So they thought I was the suspect and ran me down like a dog or an animal.’
As for how he is feeling, Hill reports that he is in as much pain physically as he is emotionally:
‘It hurt bad. My head, my neck, my back, my whole body. You get hit by a car, what do you think is going to happen?’
For their part in roughing up an innocent man over mistaken identity and a broken tail light, the Atlanta Police state that the officer involved has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation. No additional comment was given by the department.
WSB-TV’s coverage of the story may be viewed, below:
Featured Image screengrab via WSB-TV Atlanta.
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