Justice for Robert Washington
View the video of this unjust arrest here. Warning: it may be triggering!
Robert Washington, 33, was walking home from a convenience store to eat a sandwich one hot July evening. This should have been without incident. However, a Tampa Police Officer staked him out--and then followed him.
She pursued him and demanded his time and attention, to which he, within his rights, said No! Robert just wanted to go home and eat his sandwich in peace. However, the police officer could not take no for an answer. She continued to harass Robert--but Robert stood his ground and would not let her take up any more of his time. That's when she told him she needed to speak with him because "he was wearing a hoodie" and "looked like somebody".
As he attempted to enter his own home, he was attacked by several police officers, who brutally took him down and arrested him.
Resisting Arrest and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer
How do you get arrested for resisting arrest but have not committed any other crime? Why did the officer pursue him?
According to documents provided by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Tampa Police Department disparately arrests black civilians over white civilians. Tampa Police have a long history of using racial bias to make decisions when it comes to citing and arresting civilians. For example, the DOJ investigation in the biased biking while black report.
Tampa's population is 26% black and 64% white. Despite this, in 2016, just one year before Robert's arrest, black people accounted for 54% of all arrest. This is a severe over representation! [Per FDLE's Uniform Crime Arrest Report in 2016: Tampa Police Department]. The same trend is apparent in the years 2013-2015 as well.
For this reason, we stand with Robert and believe that he was racially profiled by the police and his rights were violated!
State Attorney Andrew Warren: On the campaign trail, you claimed to be a champion of justice--to change the paradigm. Yet, your office is prosecuting this man for the crime of being black in America right under your nose. We are asking for your office to drop all charges against Robert Washington and hold racially profiling police officers responsible for their biases!
-The Restorative Justice Coalition-