I guess this black firefighter isn't going to need to have the talk with his kids, since they got to experience firsthand what it's like for cops to make a snap decision about you based on race.
It was 10:45 p.m., after a recent Raiders game. Veteran firefighter Keith Jones and his two sons, ages 9 and 12, were walking back to their SUV at Station 29. A fire crew responding to an emergency had forgotten to close the garage door. Jones went in to make sure everything was secure.
As Jones walked out, he said a police officer, responding to a possible burglary in progress, yelled “Don’t move, put your hands up.”
“And his hand is on his gun. He was crouched, he was low, and he was basically in a shooting stance,” Jones said.
Jones complied, but noticed his 9-year-old son Trevon was starting to cry. The officer saw the two kids first and had already told them to raise their hands.
Jones said he told the officer that he was an Oakland firefighter, that he worked at the station and that they were his kids. He asked the officer to allow his kids to lower their hands and tell them everything is OK. Jones said the officer told them to keep their hands up and not to move.
The firefighter said this lasted for a few minutes.
“I’m pretty much thinking he’s going to pretty much shoot me,” Jones said.
“I was thinking is he going to shoot my dad the whole time,” said 12-year-old Keith Jones II.
“I was getting ready about to cry. My hands started to get tired, but I kept them up,” said 9-year-old Trevon Jones.
Eventually he was allowed to present his identification, but a couple of things jumped out at me in this report. First, the officer was
not responding to reports of a burglary in the area, which suggests he racially profiled Mr. Jones and his kids.
Second, he was wearing a body camera. Let's see if the body cameras are actually something good, or if the police department dismisses what's on them as being "procedure."
Update: Corrected to indicate that the officer was responding to a burglary call in the area.