Damarcus Alexander is the cousin of slain Baton Rouge cop Montrell Jackson and was at a Walmart where nearby, unbeknownst to him, his cousin and five other cops had been gunned down by Gavin Long a few hours earlier. Alexander and his friend, both African American, had run into the Walmart quickly to purchase white shirts to wear under their church clothes and had changed in the bathroom.
With the shooting taking place nearby, someone from the store called the police and indicated that two suspicious black men had entered the store and changed clothes. Therefore, as the pair entered their car and exited the parking lot, they were pulled over by a police officer and detained. However, despite having definitive proof that he was 100 miles away at the time of the shooting, officers still handcuffed them and threw them in a holding cell, where Alexander says he nearly died after being denied his lifesaving diabetes medications.
The Daily Mail reports that the cousin of one of the Baton Rouge cops killed by a deranged gunman was wrongly arrested as a possible accessory to the murders after he entered a Walmart to change clothes for church. Damarcus Alexander was traveling to Baton Rouge with a friend when they were arrested by police officers for “suspiciously” changing clothes.
The two men were stopped by an officer in the parking lot and questioned about their actions. Damarcus, who had no police record, informed the officer they were changing for church, but the officer wasn’t buying his story. In moments, the pair said 12 officers were surrounding the car and informing them that though they “already had the guy who did it,” they didn’t think he worked alone and that Damarcus and his friend were going to be arrested.
“You know what just happened in Baton Rouge? We already got the guy who did it, but we think that he probably didn’t work alone so we’re looking into you two.”
Fortunately, the Daily Beast notes that Damarcus had proof that they couldn’t have been involved in the murderous rampage, as they were 100 miles away at a gas station getting coffee and snacks at the time of the murders. Damarcus provided the officers with a receipt in his car that showed he was nowhere near the scene of the crime at the time of the shooting. However, the receipt wouldn’t be considered until hours after the pair would be handcuffed and held for a crime they couldn’t have committed.
To make matters worse, Damarcus says he has numerous family members who work on the Baton Rouge police force and wanted to call family members to see that everyone was okay. However, he says he was denied phone calls and only learned of his cousin’s passing after he was released from the holding cell following nearly eight and a half hours in police custody. Although Damarcus is appalled at his treatment, he notes that it could have been even worse, as he nearly died from lack of medical attention.
Damarcus suffers from diabetes and frequently needs to take medication for his condition. Despite pleas to the officers, Damarcus says he was denied his diabetes meds, and it eventually led to him entering a comatose-like state that required he be rushed to a nearby emergency room for treatment.
“We were held up from approximately 10:40 am until after 7 pm. They didn’t get me my medicine. I had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance because my blood sugar was so high and rising. I was yelled and cursed at. They were so uneducated on my condition that they kept offering me things that would have made my condition worse when I kept telling them that I needed my medicine.”
Both young men were released after police reviewed surveillance video that cleared them of any wrongdoing. However, Damarcus says the damage was already done. He was unable to learn of his cousin’s fate until hours later, left with a medical emergency, and, according to his reports, berated by police staff as he was wrongly held for a crime he didn’t commit.
“I just keep asking myself, what if I had never made my best friend stop along our route so I could get a coffee? What if I had thrown the receipt away because I was simply buying snacks and a coffee? I’m an upstanding citizen. I mentor and tutor young Black men. I am college-educated and have a good job. I’ve been an honor student my whole life. I give to the church. I have never been arrested. I don’t even have any unpaid parking tickets. But none of that mattered when they cursed us out and called me a d**k and my friend a b***h.”
[Image via Damarcus Alexander/Facebook]