F12 & F Your Apology: Tashawn Bernard’s Father Won’t Accept Lansing PD’s Apology For Handcuffing Son Taking Out Trash

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Last week, a viral Tik Tok video showed 12-year-old Tashawn Bernard being handcuffed and detained by police in Lansing, Michigan because he allegedly fit the description of a suspected car thief. The Lansing Police Department has since apologized for its “mistake” but Tashawn’s father is rightfully not trying to hear any of the department’s blue nonsense and will not accept any apology that doesn’t come with consequences for the officers involved.

“I will never accept an apology. My son did not deserve to be treated the way they treat(ed) him. No way, no shape or form,” Michael Bernard told CNN. “Justice for my son. That’s all I want. Nothing else.”

Before we get too deep into why Bernard is a real one for throwing the cops’ standard issue apology back in their racial profiling faces, let’s start with the department’s excuse for why about half a dozen officers handcuffed and detained a pre-teen while he was menacingly—*checks notes*—taking out the trash. 
CNN reports that the Lansing Police Department said their officers handcuffed Teshawn because “wearing similar clothing and in the same apartment complex as an accused car thief who fled from officers on foot.” The suspect was said to be wearing neon shirts and a white shirt. Attorney Rico Neal, told the publication however that though the child was wearing neon shorts, Tashawn had on a “light gray or light bluish shirt,” not a white one. Neal also said Tashawn was wearing “totally different shoes.”
Even if Tashawn was wearing the exact clothing described in LPD’s description, which he apparently wasn’t, when your description is something as vague and commonplace as a white shirt and bright-colored shorts, a reasonable person is not going to snatch up every person wearing such regular-degular clothing on sight, especially if we’re talking about a damn 12-year-old. This is like if an officer knew their suspect was an NBA player so they started rounding up everyone who’s taller than six-foot-two.
But let’s be real about one thing: We always fit the description.

It must be written somewhere in the Justifiable Police Harassment Playbook that all a cop needs to say is “You fit the description” if they need an excuse to stop a Black person who is only visibly guilty of minding their own business. Even if the cops have an actual description, which we would just have to take their word on, obviously, it appears that it’s always a broad enough description that they can easily apply it to whoever the hell they feel like stopping so they can fish for an actual crime.

It’s just really difficult to imagine that if police officers in a white suburb had a description of a suspect wearing a colorful dress and a ponytail, they’d start handcuffing every little white girl they saw looking like Matilda.
And, again, the LPD’s “apology” was as generic and cop-sympathizing as those statements of fake po-po contrition tend to be.

“I want to apologize that this incident had such an effect on this young man and his family,” Chief Ellery Sosebee said in the statement Friday.

Sosebee also implored the community to consider “all the facts of the situation before making a judgment,” which is the advice he should be giving cops who make “judgment” calls to handcuff Black children based on bullsh*t descriptions as opposed to “all the facts.”

“If you want to issue us an apology, tell us what’s happening to those officers because my client continues to deal with the stress and the trauma that was impacted on him by this ordeal while they just walk away,” Neal told CNN.