Steven Hildreth, Jr.'s Facebook post about a routine traffic stop by the Tucson, Arizona, police has gone viral. The social media response has been overwhelmingly positive, he subsequently reveals.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, Hildreth's encounter apparently shattered some stereotypes about police and African Americans, especially given the well-publicized Black Lives Matter protests over police misconduct.
Hildreth, a black man wearing a hoodie and carrying a gun at the time, was pulled over for a broken headlight. Cops let him go with just a warning.
According to what Hildreth called "the social narrative," he should have been "assassinated or executed" by cops that night, he explained in the video clip below.
The motorist notified the officer that he had a concealed carry license, and the officer temporarily disarmed him during the stop according to standard operating procedure. Hildreth is also a member of the National Guard and produced his military ID.
In the original Facebook post, Hildreth, whose page describes himself as an "author, veteran, and firearms enthusiast," detailed the experience.
"...Officers return with my Glock in an evidence back, locked and cleared. 'Because you were cool with us and didn't give us grief, I'm just going to leave it at a verbal warning. Get that headlight fixed as soon as possible.'
"...I'm a black man wearing a hoodie and strapped. According to certain social movements, I shouldn't be alive right now because the police are allegedly out to kill minorities. Maybe...just maybe...that notion is bunk. Maybe if you treat police officers with respect, they will do the same to you. Police officers are people, too. By far and large, most are good people and they're not out to get you..."
He also separately explained the constitutional basis for the cops to temporarily take possession of his firearm while they were running his plate and otherwise conducting the traffic stop.
In a follow-up Facebook post on October 30, Steven Hildreth Jr. issued a public thank you to the Tuscon cops who pulled him over.
"I'd like to publicly thank OFC R. Rodriguez and OFC A. Ammon for their service to their community and professionalism, both during the 27 October traffic stop and at large. It was an honor to see you gentlemen again, shake your hands, and thank you in person."In a further post, Hildreth explained that his viral post about the Tuscon police prompted some degree of backlash.
"...I've had anarcho-capitalist/libertarian types accuse me of capitulating to a Big Brother police state. The biggest backlash has been from the Black Lives Matter movement. This breaks down into two categories. The first category consists of people who are glad the stop went well, but that insist that I must have gotten lucky...These people are generally respectful and level headed...The second group is far more vitriolic. These are the people that are shouting that all or most law enforcement officers are corrupt, that they target minorities who are doing nothing wrong...In the past few days, I have been called a [N-word] more times by black people than I have by white people in the past twenty years COMBINED..."
As an independent thinker, Hildreth asserted that he is not a Black Lives Matter supporter. Claiming the second group applauded the recent murder of NYPD officer Randolph Holder, who was a Guyanese immigrant, working in the line of duty, he declared, "Clearly, this demonstrates that to that second group, not all black lives matter. Only the ones that forward their anti-LE narrative matter to them."
In September, with a viral selfie posted to Facebook, Greg Barnes Jr., who is also African-American, similarly documented his polite exchange with a police officer who pulled him over for speeding in Indiana.
"The officer did not know me nor did I know him, but we each showed one another a mutual display of respect in our interaction...I can't stress enough that NO demographic and/or profession of people are all bad. Neither of us are the enemy," he wrote.
Read Steven Hildreth Jr.'s Facebook posts about the Tuscon traffic stop in their entirety and draw your own conclusions about his message for police-community relations.
[All photos via Facebook]