Affidavit: Black Macomb Resident who grew up here

Affidavit: 1/17/20 – This raw, unfiltered narrative is from a local Macomb Black Resident who grew up here in Macomb and suffered repeated trauma from Macomb Police (especially Officer Lindsey May) by the long-term harassment of her parents in our community. [*note from DWMC: We have received several credible, similiar reports describing similar patterns of harassment by Officer Lindsey May against Black people, especially Black men in our community. These reports are verified by some white allies working in the community who are fearful of being targeted, but they were able to confirm the pattern, severity, and pervasiveness of the behaviors from the Macomb Police Officers, which is why we demand this harassment end, the department be investigated, and especially that Linsey May be be taken off the streets pending the outcome of an investigation into his arriving at workplaces to try to get Black people in trouble with their employers.]

“I am a black member of Macomb, IL, who has been living here on and off for many years. I have never felt welcomed into this community in my skin and growing up here has been a traumatic experience with the help of the Macomb Police Department.

My family members have had nothing but bad experiences with Lindsey May. He harasses, profiles, intimidates, manipulates, and stalks the people of color in this town. Specifically, he has been constantly harassing my black parent since the 90s. When my father became free, he got himself a great job and was supporting himself just fine. Lindsey May did not like this and took it upon himself to approach my father’s employer and disclose the details of his troubled past, in an attempt to disenfranchise this black man who was simply trying to get back on his feet. 

I remember being a young child and being absolutely terrified of Lindsey May and the Macomb Police Department because of the harassment and abuse of power they put us through. I understood from a young age that they were corrupt. 

Being pulled over and seeing my mother wrongfully arrested, while I was a helpless five-year-old in the back of the car unknowing of where my protector was going, was emotionally scarring. 

It was ritual for them to harass my mother, pull her over, and find any reason they could to bring her to the station and question her about my father. One day, they arrested her when I was with her. I felt so panicked and devastated as they took her out of the vehicle and put handcuffs on her. Needlessly tight, might I add. 

As I watched her from the inside of the car, tears rolled down my cheeks. “Mommy, mommy” I would plead, hoping she could hear me and save me. Imagine being so young and seeing your mother torn from you. Your only present guardian and protector is gone, and you are alone in the back of their car. Your adolescent mind races, trying to rationalize and understand what’s going on. 

My thoughts in those moments were, “Am I ever going to see my mom again?” “Where are they taking her?” “Am I going to be taken away?” One of the police officers got in my mother’s car, which made me panic, but I was so terrified that my cries were silent. I buried my face in my coat to muffle the whimpers that managed to escape my mouth. I thought I was being kidnapped. I was met with no compassion. I saw the cop glance at me through the mirror, but he said not one word to me. He didn’t try to explain what was going on, not so much as “It’s going to be okay.” I was clearly distressed and frightened, but my existence was barely acknowledged in the back of that car. 

No child should ever have to experience or witness such misconduct and abuse of power. But the truth is many children of color are traumatized by law enforcement, the ones who are supposed to “serve and protect.” The MPD wanted nothing more but to disenfranchise my black father, and they didn’t care what they had to do or who they had to damage to get there.

Even to this day, my anxiety immediately sets off when I see an MPD car, despite knowing I have done nothing wrong. Although their actions were directed at my father and mother, witnessing such abuse and hearing about it as a child traumatized me and instilled me with fear that I feel to this day.

It is time we stop allowing Lindsey May and the Macomb Police Department to terrorize the minorities of this community.”

[Affidavit: Black Mother living in Macomb]

The day I was arrested for a petty offense in public while with my young child is a day I will never forget. I’m sure she will never forget either.

The feeling of being taken away from your children not knowing when or if you’ll see them again, thinking why is this happening to me to my family ? It was traumatic, devastating, embarrassing, emotional, stressful and just sad. Since my incident I’ve been stalked by MPD Officers, scared to death when one gets behind my car I immediately grab my phone so I can record any interactions. My kids get nervous and scared.

My youngest has used the bathroom on herself when she comes in contact with MPD its really sad. I don’t feel safe here, I don’t feel equal, I don’t feel like a human being, I don’t feel as confident as I once was years ago before moving to this town.

I fear for my children daily! Every min and second they are out my sight. I fear that one of my kids will be walking home and be targeted by MPD or a white person may run him down just because of their skin color just for walking down the street they so urgently don’t want us to occupy.

I suffer from anxiety, depression, and high stress levels since living here. I’ve had to seek counseling for my kids and I due to past interactions with MPD and the Mayor and just the people in this town.

My children have been bullied at school, jumped on, beat, kicked, punched, you name it, to the point where MPD brought my child to me because of being jumped at school. NO actions were taken, just brought home to me.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to explain to your young black child that they may be treated differently because of the color of their skin and the texture of their hair?

It hurts to try to explain to your child to be aware is to be alive and because you are black, you will be treated differently.

It hurts. In my decades of life I have never faced racism or discrimination of any kind until I moved to Macomb IL. This town saddens me keeps my stress levels high and my confidence low.

MPD is a disgrace and beyond unprofessional and they abuse their power whenever they see fit. I’m appalled at their numerous encounters with the black community here and we will not be silenced by fear anymore! I am strong I am educated and I will be heard!”

[End of Affidavit]