A former aide to President Obama, Darren Martin, has had the police called on him by neigbours in his new apartment with the the thought that he was a burglar. He live-streamed the incident for his own safety.
The Bronx native works long and frequent hours, so he only had time to move into his new apartment late at night. However, before he was done moving his things into the Upper West Side apartment in New York City, he was visited by the NYPD after they got a call of a burglary in progress.
In a livestream video posted to Twitter, Martin is seen saying:
“Somebody called the cops on me in my own building. About how many are ya’ll? About six of ya’ll showed up, rolled up on me.”
“I didn’t really think anyone was going to call the cops on me because I mean — I was moving into the building.”
He later said:
“I’m in my apartment but you know — you can’t go nowhere without the cops following me.”
According to the police, someone called 911 to report a “burglary in progress” when they saw Martin moving in. In the live video shared on Martin’s Twitter account, one of the officers turns up his 2-way radio to reveal the dispatcher calling about the “break in.”
The dispatcher said “Somebody was trying to break in the door” with a “possible weapon” described as a “large tool”. Following investigation, it was later determined there was nothing criminal about Martin’s activity.
It is believed the color of his skin played a part in this. Martin also believes his skin color is the reason why he was immediately seen as a criminal.
“As a Black man when you’re in an all-white environment, you’re cognizant of that. I have to say I found it kinda symbolic. [It’s] like welcome to the neighborhood.
“The broader message to everyone is get to know folks before you make these assumptions. When you make that call there’s no turning back and it could have ended very differently.”
Darren Martin worked on Capitol Hill and in the White House under Obama’s administration and is an upstanding citizen. The harassment from cops didn’t sit well with him and he poured his heart out on Twitter.
“[The] lingering pit in my stomach came from how my neighbors viewed me. How they officially welcomed me into the building. Call the police on this Black man who DEFINITELY doesn’t live here. The man who worked for President Obama and now serves his fellow New Yorkers.”
After the incident, Martin took to Twitter detailing how he felt knowing his neighbours saw him as a threat.
I was happy to move back to NYC and into my new apt in the UWS, near Harlem. The plan was to do this today in daylight, recording all the pomp that comes along with such a move. Well, life and work happens and you end up having to move on a Friday night at 11pm, and unexpectedly, pic.twitter.com/D16sHCEI7i
— Darren D. Martin (@MartinDarrenD) 28 April 2018