Bishop Mark-Anthony Wilson of Love and Liberty Ministries .
Bishop Mark-Anthony Wilson of Love and Liberty Ministries shared an unnerving experience he had last July in the parking lot of the Madison Park North Apartments (MPNA), where he was renting commercial space for worship and meetings.
Wilson says the incident occurred after two officers on foot patrol in the complex observed Wilson’s 13 year old nephew having a somewhat loud conversation with Wilson’ 26 year old brother after leaving a meeting at the church.
“One of my nephews was playing with my brother, his uncle,” said Wilson. “The police come rushing out there in the parking lot. re just laughing a little bit, talking about some things that just went on in the meeting, that’s all. . . . The police come rushing out with guns. Actually, two police officers, one African American, one Caucasian.
“The African American guy knew that we were just playing, that there was no serious issue. However the Caucasian officer pursued—I mean he has his gun out, he’s screaming and hollering.
“So I say to him—of course I’m going to protect my family—so I say to him, ‘No, no, no, they’re family. They’re just playing, they’re family.’ He then tells me to pull out my ID, he’s going to arrest me because I am causing a public disturbance, or something like that.
“So I say to him I’m not, and he says I’m trespassing. Which I’m not doing and I informed him that I pay almost $2500 a month to be in this space, so I’m definitely not trespassing.
“He continues and pursues, and he calls for back-up because I’m ‘disturbing the peace,’ so within minutes there were about maybe 15 cars, and maybe about, I’d say at least 25 officers on the scene harassing me with lights and running background checks, warrant checks, and all that to find a reason to arrest me.
“And as I’m arguing with him and persisting, ‘You have no reason to ask for my ID, you have no reason to harass me this way,’ he’s continuing to tell me that I’m an embarrassment to the church, I’ve embarrassed my family, I’m an embarrassment to my race.
“He continued to be disrespectful to me as the other officers, they came—and some of them left but the others stayed and, you know, ‘You should respect this police officer, he has a right to send you to jail;’ and I’m explaining to him, ‘Jail doesn’t scare me especially if I have done nothing.
“‘You came out here, screaming and hollering at me, and I’m talking at you back in the manner in which you’re talking at me, and you’re waiving guns and screaming and hollering, so I have a right to speak back to you the way you’re speaking to me. You can’t talk down to me just because you’re a police officer.’
“So that issue continued. He wound up checking my license, running my license plate, running my tags, and then, as we were leaving—he runs everybody’s tags that are there, he runs my license—and while we’re leaving he pulls over one of our deacons, about a block up the street, and harasses her. No ticket, nothing. Just to be, I guess, irritating; just to cause a scene.”
Wilson says that he reached out to the head of security at MPNA after the incident and was told that the White officer in question would not be returning to patrol the area. Wilson says the officer was back on duty at the apartment complex the next day.
The AFRO has reached out to the Baltimore Police Department regarding this incident, but to date, has not received a response.