*Art equals daily life. Spoiler Alert: Today’s episode of The Young & The Restless will show Adam Newman and his wife, Chelsea, along with their small son, witnessing a rude awakening. Police will barge into the temporary bedroom of the couple, in the middle of the night, and all-hell-will break loose.
So much for TV. But the episode was probably taken from a scene in real life.
It happened to DeShawn Franklin, in a suburb of northern Indiana. He was asleep when police barged into his bedroom and started punching and tasing him. Poor man didn’t know what the hell was happening.
He told The Washington Post he was, “in shock” and “didn’t even know what was going on.”
All of this because he was yet another Black man who fit the description of who the cops were looking for.
A slender, African American man with dreads.
Franklin, who had done nothing wrong, was 18 in 2012 — the year of the incident. And although he was slender and did wear dreads, he was just one of HUNDREDS of young Black men who donned the look.
So a civil rights lawsuit was put into motion against the police officers and city officials, and this month, a jury reached a decision:
Franklin’s rights HAD been violated.
It was reckless and irresponsible for the officers and those who employ them to just barge into his home, without a warrant, and beat and taser him.
To this there was no dispute.
But the jury added insult to injury when they passed down the value of this crime; ordering each of the defendants to pay $1 for the violation of Franklin’s rights.
The man was handed a check for $18.00.
Needless to say, the Franklin family is near speechless at the slap in the face.
“To me, it’s just solidifying that blacks in America, we have no rights,” Franklin’s nephew, Russell Thomas Jr. said. “How can we fight for something when the system was not made for us in the first place?”
And Rev. Mario Sims, a senior pastor in South Bend, Ind., where Franklin lives, said the small award sends a strong message to Franklin and his family: “Your rights are worth a dollar.”
To no one’s surprise, Franklin himself has no trust whatsoever for law enforcement. In fact, he is fearful that such a thing can happen again, and wouldn’t even allow the media to photograph him.
“It’s traumatizing,” Franklin said. “It’s somewhat of a burden that you have to carry every day.”
To read the entire story of how it all began, visit The Washington Post here.