Black Man’s Encounter With Police At Bus-stop,forced To Kneel In The Snow…

He is from Ghana, he has been in the United States for years, he told me he lived in Missouri before decid­ing to come to New York where he has kinfolk.
He tells me that he has chil­dren in Ghana and so he has to work hard. He first came to see me with one of his kin­folk, a friend of mine from Ghana.
He want­ed Cellphone ser­vice, he also need­ed a plan that would allow him to speak to his fam­i­ly back home. He is a pret­ty talk­a­tive guy, and so we talked a lot until he learned that I was born in December.
He told me that because I was born in December my Ghanian name would be (Kabra). He explained the rea­son for the name, but I have no rec­ol­lec­tion of those rea­sons, I’m hor­ri­ble when it comes to long con­ver­sa­tions, par­tic­u­lar­ly when I make the deci­sion that the infor­ma­tion is not cru­cial. Except to say that I now feel like a [Kabra] when­ev­er I see him, even though I have no idea what a Kabra is, or if [it] is even a thing.
I only know him as Mister Liat.

He did odd jobs for one of his rel­a­tives who oper­ates a small used car lot out­side the vil­lage of Pleasant Valley New York. And then he got a steady job in an assist­ed liv­ing facil­i­ty in the town of Millbrook. He lives close to where I live with a rel­a­tive I’m told, and so most evenings, rain snow, or shine, while I am dri­ving home in the com­fort of a nice warm car, I pass by him stand­ing at the light post that dou­bles as an unof­fi­cial bust-stop.
Unfortunately, I can­not offer him a ride because my home is less than half a mile away. He works sev­er­al miles away. Nevertheless, I always honk my horn to say hi, he waves back, even before I honk, no mat­ter how dark it is.

Driving by mis­ter Liat there almost every evening, always gnawed at my gut, being born and raised poor, I have no illu­sions about the things that God has blessed me with, I nev­er take them for granted.
In fact, I har­bor deep-seat­ed feel­ings of guilt at the things that I do have, despite work­ing as a slave to accom­plish what I have.
I dri­ve my wife nuts about veg­eta­bles going bad in the refrig­er­a­tor, or some tchotchke that she buys when I con­sid­er that in some parts of this, the great­est coun­try in the world, there are peo­ple who can­not source healthy foods, or worse, can­not afford to eat period.

One thing that con­soles me is the thought that for most immi­grants to America’s shores hard work and sac­ri­fices are a staple.
Hard work, edu­ca­tion, and good plan­ning are the only true path­ways out of pover­ty. America is still the last best hope for poor peo­ple to find their way.
This morn­ing I saw mis­ter Liat, he stopped by to pay his phone bill and we got to talk­ing, he told me that on sev­er­al occa­sions the police pass him stand­ing there, they size him up and some­times dou­ble back to demand to know what he is doing stand­ing there?
At a bus-stop.
He told me that one group of cops stopped to ques­tion him in the snow, they ordered him to his knees in the snow.
At the bus stop.
No, this is not Minneapolis, not Texas, not in the deep south, not in the rocky moun­tains, this is the Hudson Valley New York.

One cop asked him if he was from Ghana, after hear­ing his still raw Ghanaian accent, he said he nod­ded in the affirmative.
The cop then pro­ceed­ed to tell him that he had been to Ghana sev­er­al times and how nice­ly the peo­ple treat­ed him there.
The irony is palpable.
He told me that on anoth­er occa­sion a cop stopped to ques­tion him, he said he was scared that he would be murdered.
Imagine being scared of being mur­dered by the sup­posed protectors”?
“Kabra, I have my kids in Ghana, these peo­ple will kill you”, he reasoned.
He explained his actions lit­er­al­ly sup­pli­cat­ing him­self to the cop, “you could do a great good today if you gave me a ride to my job”, he sug­gest­ed to the cop.
The cop told him no…he could get into trou­ble for giv­ing him a ride.

Imagine the real­i­ty that allows the police to stop and vio­late the rights of peo­ple with­out zero con­se­quence, but if he dares give that per­son a ride in that lux­u­ry tax-pay­er SUV, he could be in a whole hell of trouble.
I thought about the thou­sands of dol­lars in tax­es my wife and I pay so that cop and oth­ers may ride around in those lux­u­ry SUVs, then I thought long and hard about the kind of world we have cre­at­ed as a species.
Changing the lives of the very poor is a moral oblig­a­tion that we all have, nev­er­the­less, we can nev­er have moral laws com­ing from deeply immoral law-makers.
And a tear came to my eye.….….….….….….…

Mike Beckles is a for­mer police Detective cor­po­ral, busi­ness­man, free­lance writer, he is a black achiev­er hon­oree, and pub­lish­er of the blog mike​beck​les​.com. 
He’s also a con­trib­u­tor to sev­er­al websites.
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