By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, email@example.com
In another case of, “racist, White cops,” on June 22 a Black man on D.C.’s metro was tased essentially because he looked like he was about to fight. Yes, you read that right. Not because he put his hands on an officer or committed a crime; but because he, “exhibited behavior consistent with fighting an officer,” according to an official statement released by Metro Transit Police.
It all started when Metro Police responded to a call on Saturday around 5:42 p.m. about “disorderly juveniles,” Metro Transit Police wrote in a statement. The Root reported that allegedly there were complaints of two boys threatening Metro riders with fireworks or sticks. When they responded, officers detained and cuffed two Black boys, reportedly identified by witnesses- and that’s when it all gets dicey.
Other passerbyers began to advocate for the detained youths, claiming the boys the officers arrested had nothing to do with the alleged disorderly conduct.
In a video recorded and uploaded to Facebook, Che’mere Jones is heard consoling the boys.
“I just want to make sure y’all alright,” Jones is heard saying. “What I don’t want is one of these colonizers to get on y’all… because I don’t wanna have to go off and I ain’t got my nails done.”
In the middle of Jones comforting the youths, a Black man, now identified as Tapiwa Musonza, 29, is seen in the background speaking to two White officers on behalf of the boys.
While passionate, Musonza is not being belligerent by any means, and is seemingly trying to explain that the boys were innocent. That’s when out of nowhere, a third White officer, who we’ll call, “Officer Tase-a-Black,” is seen approaching an unarmed Musonza, and within seconds, begins tasing him. Then another White officer joins in the excessive force by wrestling the man to the ground, before he is then tased again. While crawling on his back, Musonza is seen putting up his hands, in the widely recognized, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” motion, before eventually being arrested by the officers.
Officers tased and wrestled Howard University graduate Tapiwa Musonza, 29, after he was simply advocating on behalf of young boys who were cuffed and detained by police. (Courtesy Photo)
Captured all on tape, Jones is heard saying to the officers, “That is not necessary. He’s not even resisting. He’s not even resisting. He’s not even resisting.”
— BlackLivesMatter DC (@DMVBlackLives) June 25, 2019
Those three words resonate as video viewers see officers tase, wrestle and work to arrest the unarmed Black man who was simply trying to help the boys.
Musonza was taken into custody.
Police charged Musonza, with assaulting an officer, obstruction of justice and resisting arrest.
After Jones’ onsite journalism went viral on social media, Metro Transit Police said they are beginning an investigation into the incident.
“Based on concerns raised on social media about the officer’s handling of the interaction, as well as the appropriateness of the use of force, the Metro Transit Police Department has initiated an investigation into the matter,” Metro Transit Police wrote in a statement.
In addition, Metro Transit Police dropped all charges against Musonza, according to WUSA9.
“Mr. Musonza did nothing wrong,” his lawyer, Lee Smith, said. “He did exactly what you would want a person to do. He tried to deescalate the situation. We had an officer who was intent on escalating the situation.”
Had it not been for Jones, this incident of excessive use of force may have never been mentioned again and according to The Root Officer Tase-a-Black is still reporting for duty.
Jones is now advocating for further repercussions for Officer Tase-a-Black.
“That dangerous cop is still on those D.C. streets. All of our children are at risk. I need y’all to blow up social media with those videos,” she wrote on Facebook. “Charges being dropped doesn’t mean ish. They shouldn’t have existed. Justice doesn’t end just because is home. How many other children and men need do be traumatized??!!! I’m not stopping until change happens.”