Protests Occur After Detention of Black Teenager

On Monday evening, Jason Goolsby a freshman at the University of the District of Columbia was arrested by police outside a bank in Southeast. Jason was contemplating whether to withdraw some cash from his bank account along the Pennsylvania Avenue. A woman pushing a baby stroller approached him and he offered a helping hand by opening the vestibular door for her. The 18-year-old was with two more friends and lingered for a few seconds outside the bank before leaving. After leaving the bank site, Jason was chased by police cars that almost hit him when he was escaping. Out of suspicion, Jason decided to run for safety since he was not aware what was happening. Unfortunately, the officers caught him near the Barracks row about three blocks away. One of his friends accompanying Jason recorded the whole thing in his phone. As a witness, he claimed that two white officers were screaming to Jason trying to force his hands to his back. According to him, he tried to tell the police that Jason did nothing, but that never stopped his arrest.

Later after the forceful detention, the power of social media took its base when the video went viral. It raised different reactions from activists who heightened the concerns about racial profiling and distrust of the police. Police later revealed to Jason that the white woman he helped called them after feeling uncomfortable around him and his friends. After the video went viral, criticisms were all over against the police and the white woman. On Tuesday afternoon, activists went to the street to protest the forceful detention of Jason. The members of the Black Lives Matter movement blocked Pennsylvania Avenue around Capitol Hill.

Jason was called for an interview on Tuesday and said that he did not exchange any words with the white woman. He claims to have just paused to offer a helping hand by opening the door for her and was contemplating whether to withdraw cash or not after a scheduled studio session at school was cancelled. In the same interview, Jason said that he was not aware that there were people protesting against his detention. He, however, told reporters that he was angry about the action that the police took and the woman who reported him. Jason insisted that being black was the reason why the white woman was uncomfortable around them.

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