A Black college student was forcefully handcuffed and thrown to the ground after he and a pair of friends visited a Washington, D.C. bank. The incident was caught on video which has since gone viral, sparking outrage and protests against the use of force by police by #BlackLivesMatter activists.
Jason Goolsby, 18, and two friends were at the Citibank in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of the city Monday (Oct. 12) afternoon. While waiting to enter the bank, Goolsby said that police cars rushed to the scene and prompted the teenager to run off.
When the police caught up with Goolsby, one of his friends videotaped the interaction. From what Goolsby says one of the officers said to him, the police were called to the scene because a woman in the bank said the teen trio made her uncomfortable.
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Three blocks away near Barracks Row, officers caught him. One of his friends recorded the tail end of Goolsby’s forceful detention — two white police officers on top of the screaming black teenager, trying to force his hands to his back while saying, “Stop resisting.” The friend aiming the cellphone camera repeatedly yelled, “He didn’t do anything.”
What happened next is a sign of the power of social media to drive activism amid a climate of distrust of police and heightened concerns about racial profiling. Goolsby said an officer told him that the woman, who is white, called 911 because he had made her feel “uncomfortable.”
Within hours, the video and the explanation for the stop were circulating widely on the Internet, prompting criticism of the police and the 911 caller. On Tuesday afternoon, activists from the Black Lives Matter movement blocked parts of Pennsylvania Avenue on Capitol Hill, shouting what they believed to be the badge number of one of the officers involved and threatening to “shut it down” to get “justice for Jason.”
In an interview Tuesday, Goolsby said he wasn’t aware people were protesting in his name. But he expressed anger toward police and the woman at the bank, saying that he and his friends were seen as a threat simply because they are black. “This whole thing is making my head spin,” Goolsby said.
Neither Goolsby nor his friend was arrested and a police report doesn’t make mention of the actions taken by police to detain the teens.
Goolsby is currently a student at the University of the District of Columbia and a graduate of an area high school, Richard Wright Public Charter School.
Watch the video of Jason Goolsby’s detainment by Washington, D.C. police in the clip below.