In a shocking account, world famous bodybuilder Kai Greene discussed a recent event that shook him to the core. The Arnold Classic champion & perennial Mr. Olympia runner-up, was pulled over by the NYPD & treated poorly by its officers; however, article is not about an isolated, routine stop. We, as a society, have become well aware of a growing list of police abuses, whereby minorities - particularly African American men - are being victimized. The NYPD is a law enforcement agency that has been lambasted worldwide for excessive force & its strong-arm tactics. This has largely been a product of its leadership. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani introduced the Broken Window Theory, creating New York's very own version in the now infamous "stop, question, & frisk" approach. This zero tolerance measure sparked rampant constitutional violations throughout the cities. To ensure that measures would stay in place long after his term, Giuliani left New York his attack dog, in police commissioner Bill Bratton. Whether NYPD cops beat a 12yr old or choke a man to death - both on video - you can count on ole Bill Bratton to give the media straight face & a bullshit explanation. For many of the cities African American community, Bratton is a modern day Bull Connor.
If you're black & in New York City, anything can happen to you at the hands of the NYPD. It's not my opinion, it's the reality. Whether you're a rich NBA or professional tennis player or an average Joe. The stories of both have stark common denominators - they're both black. Both will be subjected to excessive force, the trampling of their constitutional rights, and neither will ever have any real means of legal recourse against the department. Such is the sad state of affairs in New York. This is how Giuliani "saved NYC." So when Kai Greene shares his account of what would have otherwise been a typical stop for a white citizen, I am not in the least bit surprised. Greene had this to say on his 2/10/2016 podcast for Generation Iron:
"The other night I was stopped by the police, coming home from work, coming home from the gym. If I could tell you the fear ... my hands shook as I tried to keep my hands up ... then find my ID and not want to get shot. Not to say that every police officer is bad because there have been times in my life as a young man where I was saved at the hand of a police officer that should have otherwise done something else, but he didn't."
Kai Greene is not a criminal. He wasn't engaged in a crime. He was going home. Greene has graced the cover of countless magazines, met thousands (if not millions) of fans. He's not a black radical; he's not out there doing hunger strikes or filming police with Copwatch. He's not getting signatures for petitions or blogging for the Black Lives Matter movement. Although all of the aforementioned activities are perfectly legal & in my opinion commendable in a free & democratic society, they are activities that could make you a marked man in a major city anywhere in America. Nonetheless, I think we can all agree that Kai is a respectable man, poised on making a good living, and working to be an ambassador for bodybuilding, his sponsors, & his own name/brand. The fact that you have an upstanding citizen trembling in fear during a routine stop, should truly cause you to pause and reflect on how each & every member of a minority community feels like when interacting with police.
Greene went on to say: "[t]here's a moment when the lights are flashing behind YOU and you don't look like what you're being stopped by, and in that moment to them you look like the face of criminality that is on all the negative rap albums and so on. And there's no leniency or distinction that will separate you from that ... but what we see right here and now and in this moment. So to be an African-American man, almost 300 pounds, with an 8-inch scare running down the right side of my face ... with a hoodie on ... as much as I may have, at other times in my life, in the course of my day feel removed from Oh well I'm an athlete, I'm a bodybuilder, I'm a personality ... WHOA! Real talk! I witnessed my hands shaking as the police officers were really not very nice with handling me. Not very nice at all, and it was frightening."
I don't care what your personal politics may be, I think any objective-minded person comes to the realization that something is very wrong with policing, when a law abiding citizen trembles in fear upon interacting with law enforcement. This is not a "liberal opinion" or an exaggeration by part of the author. It's right there in Greene's own words. Imagine how he must have felt; really try to put yourselves in his shoes before you criticize him. If you're not even able to contemplate it, then that shows that you're deaf, blind & indifferent to the problem at hand. There are millions of people who would simply just rather not know what goes on.
If Americans haven't raised hell for the NYPD choking a man to death on video in broad daylight, assaulting a 12yr old boy [also on video], or beating professional basketball & tennis players (all unarmed black males), then who would really raise a red flag for (as Kai points out) a 300lb black bodybuilder wearing a hoodie, & with an 8" scar running down right side of his face? He could easily have been beaten down or even shot him in cold blood. They could have concocted any number of stories (e.g. he had "roid rage" or provided an affidavit stating they felt threatened or feared for their safety/lives) and no one would have said anything. In fact, Bill Bratton might have awarded the officers a medal for bravery in the line of duty.
Don't get me wrong though, the vast majority of the NYPD is made up of good, honest men & women that are all about upholding the law in a professional & constitutional manner. They have helped many people, including yours truly. I have never had any bad experiences with police officers in the Big Apple, but I'm also a white, of Hispanic decent. Although many would have you believe color is not a factor - it most certainly is if you're of color. There have been countless, documented abuses by the NYPD against men & women of color in New York City. It's the only city where an unarmed, innocent man could be shot at 41 times, struck 19 of those times, and the officers aren't found guilty, keep their job, and are up for retirement benefits in just a couple years. If you're black in New York, GOD help you. God help you in all fifty states.
Going strong since 2008!!
KAI GREENE - Harassed by the NYPD? by Christian Duque