A Black man helping the needy was approached by a white cop and called a “bum.”
The relationship between the Black community and the police has been in tatters for so many years, as police officers racially profile, intimidate and brutalize Black people. In this case, a white cop of the South Bend Police Department insulted a Black man, who was feeding the homeless at an Indiana homeless camp. We have drawn together reliable information on the case from these sources:
“You want to play a game? Shut your piehole.” -suspended South Bend police officer told volunteer feeding homeless https://t.co/4TAH7D0Feo
— M.L. Nestel (@mlnestel) October 28, 2016
Raymond Barbour grew up on the streets, so he wanted to feed the needy. That’s when this cop got in his face.
When a white cop hassled a black man at an Indiana homeless camp, he assumed he was one of them. In fact, Raymond Barbour was a skilled, taxpaying welder who was spending his Sunday afternoon under a bridge feeding the homeless.
Schlegelmilch on Sept. 18 positioned his squad car along a road that had been under construction and passed under a bridge. The area had become a homeless encampment and was located in the center of town on South Main Street.
He took several photos of the penniless men and women sheltering in donated tents and lining up for a hot lunch at around noon. The lawman, with 16 years on the beat, argued with Barbour before driving off and then returning minutes later to the opposite side of the bridge.
Then Schlegelmilch exited his car and snapped in a raspy smoker’s voice: “You want to play a game?”
Schlegelmilch didn’t know who he was up against. Barbour’s a 37-year-old native son of South Bend who struggled with homelessness as a child, but grew up to be a welder and father of seven daughters.
“I’m not homeless by a long shot,” he told The Daily Beast this week. “I got a home to go to and these people don’t, so why you talking to them like that?”
Indeed, Barbour’s $30,000 truck was parked up the road, loaded with water and home-cooked meals. See more
The Daily Beast
The menu that day was chicken stew, rice, and biscuits, according to John Winston Jr., who heads the JDubbs Helping the Homeless group and whose volunteers like Barbour happened to have squared off against the mouthy South Bend cop.
And when he spotted the cop taking photos, Barbour simply asked him to lend a hand.
“I told him, ‘Excuse me sir, instead of taking pictures, how about you help me pass out some of this food and water I brought out for these people?’”
Raymond Barbour grew up on the streets so he wanted to feed the needy. That’s when this cop got in his face: https://t.co/XmNQpcVFrV
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) October 28, 2016
But the white cop apparently told Barbour: “Get your bum selves out of here… Nobody wants you down here!”
Winston remains furious by the police officer’s “bullying, harassing, and shaming” of his volunteers like Barbour, but he is concerned that the cop acted disrespectfully even though he was clearly being recorded.
“That’s the scary part of it,” he said. “If he thought he could do that to the ‘homeless people’ and there are cameras around then what does he do when there’s no cameras around?”
Barbour knew all too well about this shelter because he spent some of his hardest years as a child under its roof.
“It’s the same homeless center I stayed there with me my mom and two little sisters,” Barbour said. “We were there for a couple of years and my friends they never knew that about me when I was growing up.”
After appearing before the South Bend Board of Public Safety, Schlegelmilch was suspended and docked a day’s pay.
Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski wrote on Oct. 11 that his officer was “rude and discourteous” and “did not compose or portray himself in a manner that reflects favorably on the police department.”
Erik Schlegelmilch-a white angry douchenozzle who should NEVER b a cop-calls Black Man Feeding Homeless a ‘Bum’ https://t.co/gEKbfGP0TJ
— David Henry Sterry (@Sterryhead) October 28, 2016
Patrol Division Chief Eric Crittendon echoed his superior when contacted by The Daily Beast stating that Schlegelmilch was not acting on behalf of the department “when he confronted them” and that he “violated one of our guidelines set forth in our the duty manual.”
Every civil servant in the department including Schlegelmilch is held to a high standard.
“We expect all our men and women of the South Bend Police Department wearing our badge to respect every person, every citizen—regardless of race color or creed or economic status,” Chief Crittendon said. See more
This is one of the cases, where you just sit down wondering what kind of police officers we have got in America. How difficult could it be for the white cop to see that Barbour was helping the poor? Or has the rotten system made him too heartless to sympathize with the people in need? Instead of helping Barbour in his noble deed, the officer decided to harass and degrade him. It’s quite disgusting, though an average Black man turned out to be more useful than a law enforcement representative.