Wednesday, May 16, 2018

He Could Have Been Killed Over a Package Of Mentos... That He Paid For

In America if you’re black you can’t sit in Starbucks, or play a round of golf, or have a barbeque by the lake, or even take a nap in your dorm’s common room. Ad, if you’re brown, you can’t be seen in a gas station buying candy with being accused of stealing and having a gun aimed at you.

That happened to Jose Arreola, who walked into an Orange County, California service station to buy a pack of Mentos. Arreola and his wife, Jacqueline, were headed out to a club one Friday night at around 10PM when they pulled into a gas station to use the ATM. Jacqueline Arreola told her husband to buy her some Mentos.

Mentos. On the store security camera, after Arreola takes sixty dollars from the ATM, he is seen placing a package of Mentos on the counter and then handing the clerk one of the twenty-dollar bills he’d just gotten.

As the clerk counts out his change, Arreola puts the Mentos in his pocket and that’s when a man in black shorts standing behind him pulls a gun from his pocket, announces he is a police officer and tells Arreola to put the Mentos back on the counter.

Arreola puts his hands up, but explains that he’d just purchased the mints, but the officer keeps shouting at him to take his change and go. Only then does the police officer ask the cashier if Arreola had paid for the Mentos, and when the cashier tells the officer twice that Jose Arreola had paid for the mints, the officer offers only an apology.

But, that isn’t enough, by a long shot; after having a gun drawn on him because an off-duty police officer thought he was stealing candy, Jose Arreola retained an attorney and requested financial damages from the Buena Park department.

Good; maybe the local police department can undergo some racial training to learn that not every brown-skinned person in a service station putting candy in their pocket is a thief simply by virtue of their skin color.

And, you know, just think, what if Jose Arreola had decided to ignore the cop, shout that he’d paid for the candy, and tried to walk away. Would he have been shot to death for a package of Mentos that he’d purchased?

Is this who we are now, a country where brown-skin people are thieves in the eyes of police? Where black people get stopped and harassed just for being black? That isn’t America, and as I said before, maybe America should follow the lead of Starbucks and shut down for a day to educate people about racial bias.

You know, before someone gets killed over a pack of gum … a cup of coffee … a golf ball … or a nap.


the dogs' mother said...

Glad he's okay.

BootsandBraids said...

This begs an answer from that cop, who must have been on crack ... "Not only was this excessive use of force (gun) but you also told him to take his change and go. Did not the change on the counter signify he'd paid for the item. With a bill no less, thus the change?" There needs to be a common-sense test included in the process of joining the force.

Helen Lashbrook said...

Take away the guns and the police will be less ready to go bananas every time they see someone of colour do something ordinary.

Dave R said...

Okay, so you don't say, was the off-duty white? Oh, wait, maybe you don't have to...

Deedles said...

This stuff isn't new, it's just more out in the open now. People now have reason to believe that they can be raging, racist, (pick your phobia), murderous, anal orifices! America, where even an idiot Cheeto can become president.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Even if someone IS stealing a roll of lousy Mentos, WHO the fuck pulls a GUN for something like that? Talk about escalating a penny-ante situation. But I guess that's your point, isn't it -- RACISM is crazy.

Mitchell is Moving said...

And, yes, sadly this is who we are now as a country... and have been for quite some time, just not so proudly.