I woke up around one AM Sunday morning. There where lights flickering through my window. A red flickering light through the white curtains. At first I thought the house next door was on fire. I jumped up and put on clothes. Michael was already out front when I peeked out the door. Two cop cars had pulled over a vehicle. They had black man standing in front of one of the cars. I could tell his hands were behind his back. I asked Michael if he knew what was going on. He didn't, but he had seen them search the vehicle. It is illegal for police to search a vehicle without probable cause, which does not include a routine traffic stop. I don't know if this was a routine traffic stop, but Michael and I stood there and watched.
It seemed like something we should do after the events in Ferguson. Being witnesses just in case. I don't know why they pulled over the car, if the young man driving had done something wrong. We could hear the officers talking, but couldn't make out the words. We watched two of the officers search the front seat and pull something out of the car. I stood there barely breathing and trying to notice details. The officers never raised their voices and stood back from the young man at a respectful distance. We didn't witness the cops being belligerent. We didn't witness the young man resisting or being disrespectful. Everyone was calm and so we went inside. Shortly after we went in, the lights turned off and all the cars left the scene without incident.
I'm sure the cops knew that the neighborhood was watching. We couldn't have been the only ones paying attention, but I don't think any of us were concerned about what the detained man would do. We were all watching the cops. What where the cops going to do? How were they going to react? This is what we were paying attention too. We have become a world responsible for each other and making sure those people of authority don't take advantage of this. Would we have stood watch before Ferguson? Would we have stood with waited breaths, phones at the ready to record what may happen next? I don't know, but I feel that it's more important than ever to pay attention. The change starts with us keeping watch over each other, holding each other accountable for our actions.
We are responsible for each other.