By Ryan Velez
Posted October 11th 2018
NBC News reports on another case of black people having the police called on them for essentially no reason–but this report takes on a new tone due to the person involved—actor Ving Rhames. Rhames recalled the incident while on a radio interview to promote “Mission: Impossible Fallout.”
According to Rhames, he was watching television in his home in Santa Monica when he heard a noise coming from his backyard. Initially, he thought it was his dogs making noise, but would find out it was police. “I get up, I open the door, there’s a red dot pointed at my face from a 9 millimeter,” Rhames said on Sirius XM’s The Clay Cane Show on Friday. “And they say, ‘Put up your hands.’”
According to Rhames, one of the officers recognized him because their sons went to the same school. They then explained that a female neighbor had called the police to report “a large black man was breaking into the house,” Rhames added. The police disclosed the neighbor’s address, and Rhames and two other officers went to the house to confront her, but she denied making the call. The police said the incident in question wasn’t earlier this year, and Rhames reported, but around this time last year.
“In our actions responding to what would be a residential burglary, holding a potential suspect at gunpoint would not be out of the normal,” Lt. Saul Rodriguez, the executive officer for Santa Monica police’s media relations unit told NBC News. Rhames expressed concern over the incident during the radio interview.
“My problem is, as I said to them, what if it was my son, and he had a video game remote or something? And you thought it was a gun, just like you know, I don’t know, Trayvon had a bag of Skittles,” he said in the interview.
“We responded to a call for service. The community expects and deserves that,” Rodriguez said. While Rodriguez’s point is valid, it doesn’t change the fact that there is an increase in reports of black people getting police called on them for innocuous activities. Combine that with the record of police force towards black people, and it’s probably only a matter of time before one of these calls ends in tragedy.