Did you know that the NYPD sometimes arrests people for no reason at all? 57-year-old actress Ellen Barkin didn’t until this past Saturday, when she witnessed one of New York’s finest arresting a young woman who did not appear to be doing anything wrong. “Walking home…13th & 6th, police making random arrests of non protesters.Young girl in police van screaming ‘I’m just trying 2 get home;”, she tweeted early yesterday morning. Being a good/foolish Samaritan, Barkin attempted to intervene and un-arrest this person, because reasoning with a cop on a power high is always safe and effective. That produced the above video (taken by her boyfriend Sam Levinson), and these tweets:
She has a point, of course, but her shock that the cops could treat someone this way is dripping with ignorance and privilege. For some, this is a daily reality. That a white woman can go 57 years without being harassed once by the cops (or even see someone else get harassed) while a young black man can’t go more than a few is utterly fucked up. A lot of people tweeted this at her, and to her credit she replied:
Let’s hope Barkin uses this as an opportunity to educate herself on the very real racism at work in stop-and-frisks and police shootings, and perhaps also the foolishness of flaunting (via Youtube) behavior that could get a younger, browner person shot fifty times.