Last weekend, Charles Belk, a 51-year-old black man, was arrested and detained by the Beverly Hill Police Department on the suspicion that he had robbed a nearby bank. In reality, Belk had been having a meal at a nearby restaurant, and was on his way to check the status of his parking meter. Before Belk got to his car, he was surrounded by police cars, handcuffed, and taken to the police station. He was in custody for several hours before being released. What officers presumably didn’t know at the time, is that Belk is an award-winning figure in the entertainment business, a fact that is listed among others in Belk’s account of the incident, which was posted on his Facebook account and subsequently picked up by news outlets. It read in part:
Why take the pledge?
Far too many Black youth continue to be demonized, criminalized and murdered.
Enough is enough!
In response to this intensifying crisis, the Black Youth Project (BYP) has launched “The Pledge.”
With “The Pledge,” we are asking individuals and organizations to close ranks around black youth and make a commitment to take action and fight with black youth as they confront a relentless crisis. We at the BYP believe that each person can make a difference by doing something!
By taking The Pledge we not only articulate our concern about black youth, but symbolically unite our voices with others who will work to confront this crisis.
If we each take action, whether it is starting a group, signing a petition, or mentoring a young person in your neighborhood, then we all become a part of the solution.
Stand With Black Youth!
Black Youth Project on Facebook
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