Unnamed Oral History Interview

Creator: Unnamed | Date: 2015-08-19
Collection: Righting the Record Oral History Project

You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want, or if you want to, that’s fine. You could just say… can you just say that we’re okay to record you?

Sure. Of course.

                Okay. Yeah, well, what has your experience been?

Well I haven’t had a bad experience…

                What’s your opinion?

I feel, um, I feel like they can do better. I feel like, you know, we as people can do better as well, but they definitely need to do much better. It starts, I mean, it starts with them, you know, they’re supposed to protect us and they gotta do a better job of that.

                What do you think are ways they can do a better job? Or conversely, what are ways you feel like the police has failed?

                                What do you see in the community? What are they doing?

They’re not caring. I think there’s just a lot of that. So much going on, so much negativity going on out there, you know, it’s… I think that kind of overlooks the main cause of, I mean, the main cause of police’s jobs is to protect, all right? Not everybody’s out here bad. Lot of good people out here, lot of people out here doing good, you know, but a lot of things get overlooked. You know?

                What are some examples of things you feel like have gotten overlooked?

Things that get overlooked… just… I’m sorry, I’m fresh off work, so…

                It’s all right.

                                Take your time.

Things that get overlooked, there’s a lot of things that get overlooked. Man, where do I start? Parenting for one, you know. Well I won’t say that get overlooked, but you know… it starts at home, of course, with the parents. You know, it starts at home. Well, we all, we all have to do a better job, you know, overall. Parents, teachers, policemen, all right, everybody.

                Has anyone you know every been… have they had bad experiences?

Oh yeah, definitely. A few coworkers of mine get harassed, you know, for no apparent reason, you know, just because of tint on the windows or, you know, with the color of your skin. I mean, I think a lot of things play into that. Yeah. A few coworkers of mine definitely got harassed for no apparent reason. Maybe they out late, got pulled over or, you know, search your car, and marijuana, and I mean it just… the inner city, a lot of things goes on in the inner city that’s overlooked. It would take myself and a whole bunch of other people as well to really, you know, come down on this stuff. Me personally, I haven’t really gotten into any bad situations with them and I hope not, you know. I try to stay out their way, to avoid anything, because I don’t want any type of, you know, but… I don’t know. Takes work. It does take work.

                What do you think are the opinions of the communities that you’re in about the police? Do other people try to avoid them too?

Yeah, definitely. Because it just seems like – I don’t know, the inner city, I wouldn’t say just the inner city but the inner city a lot – there’s some things that goes on that just aren’t fair. I mean, I’m pretty sure it happens everywhere, you know what I’m saying, but personally out of my eyes I’ve seen things happen that, you know… and I’m from this area, but… yeah.

                You mentioned you’ve seen some things. What are some things you’ve seen?

I’ve seen a lot, you know, but as far as this harassment, that’s… for no apparent reason. I mean, I could see if I gave you a reason, but people that’s not giving you a reason getting harassed? Come on, man, you know? Pump the brakes a little bit, you know, sometimes just because they wear the badge, sometimes they can abuse that. I’m not speaking about all policemen, but there’s a handful out there, there’s quite a few of them. I just see that with my own eyes, through my eyes I see that a lot, so.

                Thank you very much.

                                Thank you.

~ Unnamed, “Unnamed Oral History Interview,” A People's Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland, accessed November 22, 2017, http://archivingpoliceviolence.org/items/show/49.
Show Archival Record