Malone, Joey Oral History Interview
Interviewee: Joey Malone (JM)
Interviewer: Terry Baxter (TB)
TB: Perfect, ok.
JM: Ok. So yeah, I guess the closest thing I’ve come into contact with as far as one-on-one police brutality is when my mom was arrested…
TB: uh, huh
JM: Um, we were in Lakewood (?), it was really late, she was dropping a friend of mine off because she didn’t have a ride and *laughs* she’s a gil
TB: Right, right right.
JM: So me and my mom being worried, um, she didn’t know that her license was suspended, so when she got pulled over she ended up being arrested. They towed her car. And they were just really awful to me and my brother at the same time, like, any time we tried to say anything they were like threatening to arrest both of us. My brother ended up getting his license suspended over the situation and it’s just…I don’t know, I think it’s just really weird and really fucked up how the legal system ends up punishing people who, like, my brother’s never even had his license and it’s suspended.
Y’know, and it’s just like there’s this perpetual violence that’s tied in with tied in with poverty. And like, sure I’ve never had a cop put their hands on me or anything but, the reason that I’m walking around instead of driving is because of how I’ve been treated by police.
JM: And how my family’s been treated by police and I think a large part of it is just the way that we’re received, y’know, being people of color who know their rights? It’s like an offense to police officers for some reason. Which, you would think, they would want to work with people who know their rights and know the law, but they don’t. They don’t. They want to exercise as much force as they can, they want to intimidate as much as they can, and that’s been my only experience with them.
I’ve certainly encountered nice cops…which I think is funny that people bring up that cops can be nice, because of course they can be nice.
TB: Correct. *laughs*
JM: But more often than not, I’ve felt almost cornered by police into doing what they want me to do.
JM: And that’s been a constant, but primarily…the biggest thing was when they arrested my mom and like she’s 54, she has anxiety, and they treated her like she was committing a real crime. Like, she was dropping a kid off. So. That’s basically all I got.
TB: That’s…that’s not great, but it’s great that you’re willing to…