Some of you may remember that I was the co-founder of the first Allegheny County narcotics squad in 1966. I was the only Black narcotics detective and they were memorable years with a number of experiences—some good others bad—but I will always remember them.
The Jordan Miles deplorable situation prompted this week’s column. It brings to mind that racism and ignorance oft times are one and the same. As I listened to some radio commentators who sought to increase their radio ratings by simply asking their overwhelming White listeners, “What do you think about the Jordan Miles trial, should he had run?”
You could hear the racism and ignorance in their response: “He had to know that those 300 pound White men were police.”
They choose not to believe that their husbands, sons, grandchildren frequent our neighborhoods with great regularity seeking drugs overwhelmingly because in their neighborhoods open drug dealing is not permitted.
There even exist some uninformed Blacks who believe that Jordan should not have run that night.
In my lifetime I have not just witnessed injustice, it has happened to me. I have been arrested five times. Eventually the police referred to me as Mr. Smart Aleck.
The first time I was arrested was one Saturday night about 11:30. I was driving home and when I approached at Roberts Street and Bedford Avenue two burly White men cut me off. They exited their plain car showing no identification and demanded that I get out of my car and show them my driver’s license and owner’s card.
I responded in a like manner by asking, “Who in the hell do you think you are?” In those years there were prostitution houses and White men rode in the hill all night long.