By Cheryl Brown
Two Black men were detained in the pouring rain and forced to go to a victims house for identification by an officer of the Loma Linda Police Department because they were Black. The bizarre event continues to baffle the two.
Last Friday night near midnight Pastor Wade Forde, 25, youth pastor at 16th Street Seventh Day Adventist Church and Jordan Glaze, 23, a La Sierra University student left an apartment complex near the corner of Mt. View and Van Luvan. As they were leaving an officer sped up and called Forde before he reached his car.
As the officer questioned Forde he asked, where did you put that flashlight? He then informed Forde that someone broke into a van with a flashlight and he fit the description. "What description?" asked Forde. A Black man, said the officer who explained that the suspect was wearing a gray t-shirt with white letters and white pants.
"I fit that description?" Forde questioned again because he was wearing taupe slacks, a Mexican styled shirt, and bowling shoes. He requested Forde to get Glaze as he was getting into his car. He was wearing an orange bubble jacket. Meanwhile the rain continued to pour and Forde was getting soaked because he had on no jacket. The officer asked the two to follow him on foot to the apartment of the owner who had lodged the complaint and it took nearly 10 minutes for the resident to answer the door. The complainant looked closely at both men and just walked back inside his apartment and said not a word to them or the policeman.
"I just said here we go again because in Florida this happened all of the time. We were just leaving a Bible study and then this happened. I asked the officer if the suspect was wearing an orange bubble jacket. I am tired and upset to have to constantly deal with this," said Glaze who is a student at La Sierra University, in Riverside.
He said that he told the officer every Black person fits the description. But when a White person fits the description you read the description. They dont stop every White person. They read the description!" said Glaze.
The apartment they were visiting was that of Candace Dunbar, 25, a Loma Linda University student. She said the officer wanted her to come down to confirm Forde and Glazes story. It was still raining, but she complied. "I was surprised something like this happened in my apartment complex," said Dunbar.
When the officer told them they were free to go he asked the two, how would you feel if you were a police officer and that description was given to you?
Forde said, "first Id never be an officer. Lets put the shoe on the other foot. How would you feel if a Loma Linda police officer put a gun to your face and snatched you out of a car and choked you? Or what would you do if they constantly stopped you? " Forde was referring to his brothers history and his personal history after being stopped so much that their mother had to go to the police department and tell them to leave her boys alone when they were teenagers.
His mother, Charlotte Ellison said, "they stopped Wells at the age of 14 when he had a scooter. Weldon was stopped twice because his car was making too much noise. They said the car wasnt registered to anyone at the house. They sent us to the DMV to straighten it out. They (DMV) didnt know what I was talking about. I had to call and tell the Watch Commander I dont need your officers coming to my house harassing my children, said Ellison.
The irony of this whole incident is that the police officer told Dunbar after the two men left, the complaint was unfounded.
The Loma Linda Police Department contracts its services from the S.B. County Sheriffs Department.
Spokesperson Robin Haynal, S.B. County Sheriffs, refused to comment on the traffic stop. We will not comment on the officer or the traffic stop, stated Haynal. She continued: We do not condone misconduct or racial profiling and we take it seriously. If the citizens have a complaint, they should fill out a complaint form at the Central Station.
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