Philadelphia police stopped two pedestrians on their way to work, simply because they said “Hi” to a stranger. The incident was captured in a controversial YouTube video which was apparently taken down, but the video above shows enough of what happened as the hosts of The Young Turks explain the situation between a series of three clips.
The police in question appear to be racist as the African Americans being interrogated on the street weren’t really doing anything wrong beyond possibly filming the incident with their phone. One of the men said “Hi” to a stranger as the police were going by in their cruiser. This prompted the passenger to get out of the car and approach the two pedestrians, asking for ID and saying “You don’t say hi to strangers.”
The situation with the Philadelphia police stopping the pedestrians escalated quickly from there, as the one filming the incident started backing away while they were frisking his friend. One of the officers told him to get back to the car and put the phone in his pocket, and as he started walking back, the officer apparently forced him to put the phone on the ground.
As the recording continues, you can clearly hear the officer saying, “You asked why I stopped you. I said ‘How do you know that we didn’t get a radio call?'” He questions the pedestrians’ perspective and gets hostile when they ask the police what they’re being accused of. The officer then starts telling them that he’ll do whatever he has to, even “grabbing” them off the street like that.
The pedestrians were obviously being respectful and the police officers were treating them like dirt, seeming to try to get them angry enough to actually do something to get arrested for. The sheer harassment involved in this video was enough to make it viral in the span of about three weeks.
The Philadelphia police stopping the pedestrians were very definitely profiling them, and it comes through just in what was said.