In response to his son being held up at gunpoint by Yale police, New York Times op-ed columnist Charles Blow wrote a column decrying the police’s methods of accosting his son.
On Saturday, Blow’s son was followed by police from the campus library and thrown down to the ground when police thought they had found a burglary suspect they were looking for.
Tahj Blow, an African American biology major in his junior year at Yale University, told his father he was leaving the library when he saw a campus police officer “jogging” towards him.
“The officer raised his gun at me, and told me to get on the ground. At this point, I stopped looking directly at the officer, and looked down towards the pavement. I dropped to my knees first, with my hands raised, then laid down on my stomach,” Blow wrote, recounting his son’s version of events.
Blow made the point that if his son matched the description of a burglary suspect, he’d have no problem with police questioning him. The problem, according to Blow, arises in the manner his son was questioned.
“The stop is not the problem; the method of the stop is the problem. Why was a gun drawn first? Why was he not immediately told why he was being detained? Why not ask for ID first?” Blow continued in his column.
The Times’ columnist, who was a frequent guest on CNN in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin case and the Michael Brown shooting, noted once police brutality happens, it can’t be erased.
“What if my son had panicked under the stress, having never had a gun pointed at him before, and made what the officer considered a “suspicious” movement? Had I come close to losing him? Triggers cannot be unpulled. Bullets cannot be called back.”
The Dean of Yale has apologized to Blow and said an internal investigation into the stop is underway.