Denard’s Supporters Speak Out On Racial Profiling Experiences at Commission Meeting

Decaturish has a detailed report from last night’s Decatur City Commission meeting.  Here are the first few sentences…

Don Denard says police racially profiled him and his experience isn’t unique.

The former Decatur Board of Education member brought a group of his supporters to the City Commission’s Feb. 18 meeting. Denard read a letter in response to a Decatur Police investigation that cleared officers of racially profiling him.

“Simply put, the finding by (Police Chief Mike Booker) that the officers did nothing wrong is totally unsatisfactory and unacceptable to me and is inconsistent with the pertinent facts of the case,” Denard said.

Mr. Denard said he would return to the Commission with a formal request as how the Commission should respond to the allegations.  The City Commission told Denard that they take his concerns seriously.

121 thoughts on “Denard’s Supporters Speak Out On Racial Profiling Experiences at Commission Meeting”

  1. No comments on this? I know this isn’t as exciting as a restaurant opening/closing or annexation, but come on! I grew up in Decatur and I remember racial profiling being an issue back then. Most white students in Decatur doing stupid stuff (smoking, drinking, vandalism, etc) made it through high school without a criminal record. I can’t say the same for many students of color. There was a disparity in how folks were treated by law enforcement. Sure, they might pull you over, but if you were white it was much more likely you would be let off with warning or a call to your parents. I benefited from racial profiling, but in hindsight I wish us white students had done more to advocate against this while we were in school. This deserves a thoughtful conversation and self-reflection about how we may contribute to it. I appreciate Mr. Denard for using his voice to bring this issue to the forefront. I encourage more to speak up…

      1. You mean the thread with 11 replies, most of which question whether Denard has an ulterior motive? I realize there was some conversation in a thread prior to that, but I think it deserves more. Just my opinion.

          1. Again, I realize this has been discussed in a prior thread, but one conversation isn’t enough in my opinion. I’m not going to argue anymore about whether a thread existed prior to this or not. Thanks.

            1. Seems to me you don’t want a discussion – you want confirmation of your belief that the police are liars in this situation for concluding that there was no wrongdoing.

              1. Whatever. Think what you want. Everyone responding to me is only avoiding the discussion at hand. I’m the only one so far that has shared anything of substance in this thread. Thanks anyway.

                1. Now you are being ridiculous. People who have responded in this thread made lengthy posts about this very issue just a few days ago, discussing the police investigation report in some detail. Pointing out that those threads exist isn’t avoiding anything, it’s just . . . making sure you knew they existed. I have nothing against anyone having another discussion about it, so have at it.

                  1. I already said I knew they existed. Read my previous posts. I am encouraging more dialogue. This is derailment.

                2. Whoa, dude, slooooooow down. You posted your “no comments on this?” what, 30 minutes after the thread went up! People like me, who would be inclined to be on your side of this discussion, having witnessed firsthand through both personal and professional experience the differential experience of police interactions between white and black citizens, are now reduced to responding to your premature claim that people are avoiding a discussion rather than having that discussion!

                  1. BUT, if you want a discussion NOW, here you go:

                    Commenter 1: See? The police racially profile and this is the kind of oppression that we/they must deal with every day.

                    Commenter 2: Shut up. The police are awesome.

                    Commenter 3: Yeah, the police rock! I’m a white person but I know some black people and you’re really overreacting.

                    Commenter 4: I don’t know. Since I’m white, I can’t know what your experience is. We should have a blue ribbon committee study this issue.

                    Commenter 5: You guys are ignoring the issue. How will this affect our schools?

                    Commenter 1: Ugh.

                    You’re welcome.

                    1. Discuss Black Oak tree vs White Oak tree vs Red Oak tree: Shade canopy, environmental benefit, social impact, racial preferences, historical bias, etc…..


                  2. Then add something to the conversation, rather than act like I prevented you from doing so by “making” you address this.

        1. Ok. I’ll discuss.

          It seems from witness reports that a significant majority of the recent crimes have been committed by African American men who happen be strolling through neighborhoods. So it would seem reasonable for the police to use this bit of information as part of their overall evaluation of whether or not to stop someone.

          1. So you are saying that in this case, all else being equal, they should not have stopped a white man of that age?

            Also, everything I’ve read has described the burglars using vehicles, not strolling through neigborhoods.

            1. I am not saying that. I am saying that lots of different pieces of data may factor in to when someone is stopped. Race, behavior, peeking into cars as you walk by, repeatedly circling a block, an open door observed, etc.

              As far as all criminals using vehicles – the kid robbed on Valentine’ Day was walking and accosted by a pedestrian. The people robbed on Oakhurst Park a while back were robbed by people on foot, as was the case at Family Dollar, and the mailbox robberies, and the car break-ins……..

              1. Yeah, but he was stopped because they suspected a possible burglary. From what I’ve heard those have all involved vehicles. Apparently his age didn’t factor into the set of data you mentioned either.

            1. Of course. I’d also like for someone to point me to one instance where a police department investigated itself then admitted to racial profiling (or any other wrongdoing, for that matter). Just one.

            2. And maybe race played no part in it. However, if it did, I don’t think that fact alone should make the police the bad guys here. Have to look at totality of the situation.

              1. Race is relevant if it is part of a perp description, sure. But alone, it is not enough, and again, the DPD is not using race as part of the justification for what it did, even in part. And here, Mr. Denard is what, late 50s(?), with grey hair, glasses, and a grey moustache. He’s black but otherwise does not fit the perp descriptions at all, as they were all of much youger men.

                As for the other circumctances, they’re in the report, and essentially amount to: he came out of the side door, bypassed the mailbox, “looked all around” and adjusted his jacket. My view: pretty thin gruel (at best) for suspecting a burglarly. But we hashed this out in an earlier thread and I think it is fair to say that posters differ on this matter and are unlikely to change their views now.

          2. I don’t disagree that the crimes that have been highlighted on this blog have referred to black suspects. I do disagree with the assertion that because they are black, all black people should be subject to profiling. Probable cause should be the basis by which police choose to stop someone. You seem to be teetering on the edge of “black people are criminals, so the police are justified in stopping any black person.”

            1. Except that he/she never said that, nor has anybody made that strawman argument (until you).

              This is a fascinating conversation.

            2. Now, let’s be generous.

              The CHARITABLE interpretation here is that all black folks look the same.

              “Suspect is a 5’9″ black teenage male – let’s stop that 6’2″ 50-something black man, just to be safe!”

      1. The fourteenth amendment comes into play if the victim was targeted solely on race. The federal courts have ruled that race can be a factor.

  2. A fundamental issue is how does one report or investigate suspicious activity without being accused of racial profiling. Perhaps Mr. Denard’s supporters can provide this expertise to the commissioners.

    1. Similarly if you defend the police here, if for no other reason than you are giving them the benefit of the doubt, you are accused of being a racist.

      1. No. This is where white folks need to grow up. No one is accusing anyone of being racist. Acknowledging racial issues and discussing them is not calling someone racist. Asking people to consider their use of words/language is not calling someone racist.

        1. “You seem to be teetering on the edge of “black people are criminals, so the police are justified in stopping any black person.”

          Whether intentional or not, do you not realize that you are insinuating than MI is “teetering” on being a racist? He opined that race is a “bit” of info which should be used in the “overall” evaluation. But, you interpreted that to mean “Police should stop all black people”, which is not at all what he said.

          1. No. I said he/she was teetering on the edge of justifying a prejudice. That is not the same thing as calling someone racist.

            1. OK. Split hairs if you sleep better at night, but that is a very fine line and is offensive nonetheless. If he is “justifying a prejudice”, clearly you think that MI holds such a prejudice.

              1. No. There are clear differences between prejudice and racism. Furthermore, being complicit in justifying prejudice can be a result of a number of things. It could be because one’s privilege doesn’t allow them to understand the implications of racial profiling. I won’t bother educating you because you don’t really have an interest in anything other than denial and defensiveness. I sleep just fine regardless. Thanks.

                1. So, it is OK to accuse someone of holding a prejudice against African Americans so long as you don’t call them a racist? Got it. Thanks for clearing that up.

                  Have you made a post today that can’t be described as argumentative?

                  1. You keep putting words in my mouth and derailing the conversation. Of course I’m arguing against that. Eventually you will wear me out and I’ll move on. That’s the goal, right?

  3. I’d like to hear from someone who has been the victim of this recent crime wave.

    How would their opinion differ from someone whose safety, security and property haven’t been violated?

  4. OK, here’s my perspective:

    I think DPD not only racially profiled Mr. Denard, it then compounded its mistake by declaring that in fact race was no factor in the initial profiling. DPD knew, just like all of us who’ve been paying attention, that the descriptions of the suspects in other break-ins in the area were of Black males. Of COURSE race was a factor! To declare otherwise is ridiculous, and is the reason why the Department’s explanation of what went down was so unsatisfactory (especially since Mr. Denard fit the profile in only one aspect: the color of his skin). The fact that some of the officers who did the profiling may themselves have been Black is irrelevant. If you believe the statistics, Black police officers profile as often as White officers do. My point is, from the facts that have been made known, I can’t help but conclude that Mr. Denard is correct in his feeling that he was profiled.

    Frankly, I’d have more respect for DPD if it had just come clean & said, “Look–some of our officers overreacted. We’ve been on alert for these break-ins for some time now, and we got hypersensitive. It was a mistake for us to have stopped Mr. Denard the way we did, and we abjectly apologize for the way he was treated. We are taking steps to make sure that this doesn’t happen again, and we’ll make sure that our officers become better acquainted with the residents they serve.” BOOM. Done. I can’t be certain, but I think it’s highly likely that Mr. Denard would’ve felt that he had been listened to and validated, and wouldn’t have felt the need to push for further justice. I’ve read some studies that indicate sincere apologies go a long way toward easing the hurt & anger people feel from having been wronged, and I don’t understand why this simple step is almost always never forthcoming without a lawsuit first being filed. In most cases, I believe the very lawsuits that municipalities in these situations hope to avoid could be forestalled by a sincere acknowledgment and apology. As a lawyer myself, I understand why the City would be doing the CYA thing; as a resident & a human being, I wish it would’ve just admitted its mistake, andreached out to Mr. Denard before this thing blew up.

    As a mixed-race person who has relatives of varying skin tones on the color spectrum, I can tell you that I’m all too aware of the privilege my ability to pass affords me. Included in that privilege is a nearly zero-risk that I’ll be profiled the way that some of my darker-skinned family & friends are, and on a basis frequent enough that most of you would be stunned to discover exists. Tp me, the most troubling aspect of this whole incident isn’t whether race played a part in it–it’s the absolute certainty of some of you that it did not. I love this City, and wherever possible, I give our officials the benefit of the doubt; but that doesn’t mean I have an unblinkered all-embracing acceptance for their actions. Having the hard discussions doesn’t mean we don’t respect or appreciate our police, it means that we care enough to remind them that they work for ALL OF US, not the other way around. YMMV.

    That’s my take, and it’s all I’m going to say on this matter. I like & respect all of my fellow commenters here, and I realize that on most of these points, some of us will never agree. That’s OK–I can live with that. But I couldn’t keep silent on a topic that has touched such a raw nerve with me, and that I felt was devolving rapidly into a verbal brawl that would end up polarizing us further. Thanks for letting me vent from the heart. Peace!

    1. Beautifully written! Thanks for sharing your unique respective on the issue, being both a person of color and someone with privilege. Race is absolutely a factor and has been for a long long time. Denying it or acting defensive because you think someone might have called you racist isn’t going to generate progress. I, too, can live with everyone not being in agreement, but I will challenge privilege and bring a different perspective when I can. I owe that to my community.

    2. Of course, nobody is being appreciative of the fact that their primary motive here was to protect the residence of a Decatur homeowner. Just because the person they stopped after realizing that the house was open was the actual homeowner does not mean they have to be critisized. I’d be appreciative if they pointed it out to me at my house. I don’t recall him being arrested and jailed…just identity confirmed after leaving an open house.

      1. “Of course, nobody is being appreciative of the fact that their primary motive here was to protect the residence of a Decatur homeowner.”

        You mean doing what they are paid to do? Nobody is claiming they were playing Candy Crush instead. The question is how they were executing their duties.

    3. +1 very well said! It was mentioned earlier African Americans have known this for a very long time, however, the issue, is, in this particular incidence, was their racial profiling.

      It all falls down to Mr. Denard only fit the profile in that he is African American, though someone in the January post mentioned he looks good for his age, he is actually in his 60s!

  5. Thanks for the perspective, Cubalibre.
    What bugs me about some of the reaction here is the double standard. Many are quick to be skeptical about every aspect of government decision-making–except when it involves the police (with Dem being a notable exception). Hell, I’m seeing more questioning and blame directed at the City for how it’s dealing with the closure of a fast-food restaurant than how the police treated a law-abiding citizen.

    1. I think it’s fair to say that I can be counted on to always be highly skeptical of everything the government does! And to wish it did a lot less of everything, especially harassing innocent citizens. (Ok, one exception – austerity. I would like to see a lot more of that!)

    2. Include me with DEM. I don’t trust any government entity. And that goes double for law enforcement…

  6. Maybe this was profiling, maybe it wasn’t. But I am curious: what should have been done differently? I’d especially like to hear from those with law enforcement experience. How would you manage the situation? I am neither defending or condemning DPD.

  7. I am very sorry Mr. Denard feels he was mistreated. I am very happy he was able to bring this to the attention to the community. However, I feel there are quite a few details missing from the story. For example, how was this gentleman treated? Was he handcuffed, was he physically mistreated, or was he simply asked to stop and present his id? Here is an example of how it may have gone.
    -Sir can you please step over to my car.
    Sure Officer.
    -Do you live at that house?
    Yes I do, it is my residence.
    -May I see your ID please.
    Sure, no problem.
    -Mr Denard, I apologize. We have had numerous break-ins in the neighborhood. I noticed you left your door ajar when you were leaving. That is why I stopped you.
    I just wanted to make sure you, your home and property were safe. I hope you have a great day.
    Did it go like this (scene from The Wire)?

    Up against the wall sh**bird.

    If this gentleman was treated with a reasonable amount of respect, I see no reason to complain (white, black, asian or otherwise). The officer is ultimately is out there to protect us all.

    1. If “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts, it’d be Christmas everyday. Good to know that if you don’t see a need to complain, then no complaint should be made.

      1. “No. I was making a valid point. You don’t have to agree, but I have every right to say it.”

        Sound familiar?

        1. Wow. You are all up on it aren’t you? I didn’t say he couldn’t say it. I didn’t even ask him not to. Your comment doesn’t even make sense. Try again.

        1. I’m responding to a post that minimizes the experience of Mr. Denard and makes many assumptions. The poster even said he saw no reason to complain. I was simply pointing out, albeit sarcastically, that he doesn’t get to make that decision.

          1. Right, but the sarcasm seems totally out of line with what you were advocating for earlier. Is this the conversation you were looking to have? Shouldn’t we all be trying to bring folks up to speed on what’s been done/said already and advocating our respective positions to each rather knocking them down one-by-one?

            1. I don’t totally disagree, but I can only do so much. It’s like playing whack-a-mole. I guess I should just admit that this isn’t the proper forum for creating progress on racial issues…maybe I’m overreaching.

              1. Proper forum or proper method? You clearly have appointed yourself Chief of Police of Racial Issues and are having a field day criticizing and belittling anyone who doesn’t share your opinion. But, at least I am enjoying your meltdown.

                1. The two of you are both longtime commenters. Can we please just stop poking each other so that the substantive conversation at least has a chance of getting through?

  8. I have no idea what officers are required or instructed to do, but personally I think I would have at least watched the man for a while longer before deciding whether to detain him. It’s not like he was running or posed an imminent threat to anyone’s safety.

      1. Just to be clear I am assuming that Officer Brown was truthful in his report when he said “Mr. Denard was never detained.” The report also indicates that this was a contact, which is not considered detention. If you think the officer is lying or that Mr. Denard FELT he was being detained, that’s fine, but I’m not sitting here making things up.

        1. Detained, regardless of how the police feel they are allowed to define it, means to me Mr. Denard could not have said “I have no time for you” and kept on walking. If one is not free to do that, then that is the definition of detained.

          1. Oh brianc, you know as well as I that when a cop pulls his car over and then asks you to show your ID, you’re free to walk away, and nothing more would happen. That’s how it really works in real life!

            “Sir may I see your ID?”


            “Ok, have a nice day!”

            That’s how it would have gone down, I am certain of it.

  9. Does anyone still have the link to the report. I am interested in the officer’s names. I live by an officer and would be interested to know if she was a part of this.

  10. Generally, most majority people are enamoured with the police. Seldom are they stopped or treated in a inflatering way. If you are of a darker hue, all to often your interactions with police are less than good. Most decatur citizens cannot understand the aforementioned and deny the assistance white privilege has afforded them. To admit that other people are treated differntly/worse than they are, is to allow that they have an advantage. Instead we want to define ourselves as boot-strappers, achieving all we have by our own sheer brillance. To avoid the same we reason away all evidence to the contrary. Yes this was racial profiling and no the police will never find themselves guilty of anything. The question is will the majority of people demand an outside investigation.

    1. indeed. the ultimate irony of this thread is that the only person to accept the reality of privilege is a (self-described) person of color. maybe little shop of stories needs to stock up on some tim wise books.

  11. Maybe if Mr. Denard didn’t leave his mail piled up and his door open when leaving the house, people wouldn’t think he’s a burglar. If the cops saw me coming out a back door and leaving it open and the house had several days’ mail piled up, in a neighborhood experiencing burglaries, I suspect they might ask me some questions.

      1. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what it said. The guy wasn’t even arrested. They asked if it was his house and he said yes. That was the end of it.

          1. If she doesn’t see the door left open and the mail piled up, she doesn’t make the call. But of course we can never know that. And since Denard wants to make an example of someone, you all get to debate white privilege and racial profiling in relation to a guy who ultimately walked away with a recommendation to keep his door closed when he goes out.

            1. Better the line is drawn with a debatable case than go down the road to tolerating (or even advocating, as some here have) police stops of pedestrians and vehicles that look like they’re from the “wrong” side of town.

              1. The obvious solution is those bumper stickers like Avondale Estates has!


              1. Read every word, actually, but I’m clearly not going into it with your narrative in mind. I’m sure there are hundreds of incidents of racial profiling that happen with police around Atlanta every day. I just don’t believe this qualifies, and it’s unfair to Decatur PD and the officers involved to use them to try to prove a point.

                1. You say you read it, but the things you are suggesting are out of line with what is in the report. The police do great things everyday which isn’t in dispute. I don’t happen to think looking at incidents with a critical eye or taking away lessons from controversial actions, takes away from that at all (if that’s the narrative you were trying to pin on me…)

            2. @Bo – The issue that Mr. Denard is the fighting is the point at which the investigator determined that he was suspicious. She saw a black man, walking down the driveway, not check the mailbox, and adjusting his jacket. THAT IN ITSELF caused her to “investigate” the home. It was only AFTER she profiled this BLACK man walking down the driveway that she discovered the mail and the BACK door open – and I find it interesting that so many people are using the back door being open as reason for her to be suspicious…you can’t see back doors when driving past a house on ANY street, let alone S. Candler. So the problem that so many people seem to be missing is why Mr. Denard alone tipped her off. And the reason, the sole reason, is because of his skin color. He was worthy of being “investigated” by the officer because he was walking while Black. Period.

              Furthermore, if you had read the report (which you might want to do again because your assertions are terribly wrong), you would see that the cops first contact with him was “Sir where are you going?” After that, Officer Brown stopped the car, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET OBSTRUCTING TRAFFIC, to question Mr. Denard further. That is fact, Bo.

              Mr. Denard’s skin color gave the investigator reason to suspect him. The police failed to acknowledge that, and that is why the people in this city who are tired of racial profiling are going to mobilize around this issue, bring awareness to people like you, Bo, and others on this thread who seem to have this insistence on denying racial prejudice and racial profiling as REAL things, and demand a proper response, better training, and systematic change to the DPD and their dealings with Black CITIZENS of Decatur.

              1. Excellent post which gets the essential facts right. The most important piece of this is why the investigator initially found him suspicious. She found the mail and back door open only AFTER initially suspecting Denard of possible burglary. That sequence is key, IMO.

                1. I read the report too.

                  She saw a guy in a dark jacket / hoodie wearing gloves (weather channel says it was 53 degrees on 12/15), walking away from what appeared to be an empty house, in a neighborhood where there had been increased reports of thefts/burglaries. Then she investigated and saw a stack of mail suggesting the homeowners were away and a rear door ajar. Then she called it in.

                  I know the majority of commenters think all 4 of the policemen/woman are lying and that Mr. Denard is telling the truth, but the facts don’t seem to make the police reaction appear to be unreasonable.

                    1. By itself, maybe. But it is certainly a relevant factor.

                      None of the factors individually justify further action, and I don’t think anyone is arguing that. The question is whether, given the totality of factors, was it reasonable/appropriate for the officer to investigate further?

                  1. It was a high of 53, which is pretty cold, so the jacket and gloves are borderline irrelevant and quite consistent with normal behavior. Walking away from an emplty house is also utterly normal. And the investigator did not know it was empty, anyway, until she knocked on the door.

                    I am not saying everything the officers say is a lie. (By the way the report concludes that Denard is mistaken in some instances and accepts the officers’ views over his.) But are they shading some things to try and make this go away? Yes, I do believe that. And overstating the “looking all over” and adjusting his jacket bits fall into that category. I think those are post-hoc efforts to insulate her decision.

                    It’s also important to me what the report does not say. Denard wasn’t carrying anything, not even a bag that might have held stolen goods. He did not flee the scene, but just went for a stroll. No getaway car.

                    I agree that once she saw the mail and opened door, there was reason to ask him if he lived there. To me, again, the key issue is that the initial suspicion and her reasons for going around to the back were materially influenced by the fact that Denard is black. The investigator’s complete denial of that is just not credible and her articulated reasons for the initial suspicon are very weak.

                    1. “It’s also important to me what the report does not say. Denard wasn’t carrying anything, not even a bag that might have held stolen goods. He did not flee the scene, but just went for a stroll. No getaway car.”

                      To me, this is why this is, if nothing else, shoddy police work. There was nothing whatsoever to indicate any serious crime might have been committed.

                    2. I think we can all agree that any of the factors (gloves, shifting jacket, etc.) individually don’t justify further investigaion. But, this isn’t a checklist and you can’t strike them one by one as you appear to be doing. You have to look at all of them together, and as I stated below, this is subjective. And, no she didn’t know that the house was empty, but there wasn’t a car in the driveway. Even evaluating this factor individualy, I don’t think it is unreasonable to assume no one was at home.

                    3. “But, this isn’t a checklist and you can’t strike them one by one as you appear to be doing.”

                      They all add up to very little, especially if you factor in the mitigating elements: his age, the fact that he wasn’t carrying any property, wasn’t fleeing or evading.

                    4. brianc, like I said, this is subjective. I read in one of the reports that burglars often only take cash, jewelry, etc. so they can stash it in their pocket and walk down the street like nothing happened. My neighbor in my old hood got broken into and nothing bigger than an iPad was stolen. When my house was broken into later, the police told me the same thing (although my thieves took the TV). So, the police couldn’t know he wasn’t carrying anything.

                    5. Technically when your eyes are open, and you’re walking, this could be looking around so… It was also strange that the officer couldn’t remember if he told him he was free to go or not, or he could not go until he produced ID. What if he would not have had any identification on him that day, this story would probably be a lot more involved than it is now. When I go for a walk unless I know I’m going to buy something, I usually don’t bring my wallet.

                2. Let me frist state that I think it is ridiculous for the police to say race wasn’t a factor when it so clearly was. And, I agree the sequence is key. But, I also think it is important to note that she didn’t radio for him to be stopped until after she found a pile of mail at the front door and an open back door. Obviously we have no way on knowing what would have happened, but I believe that if she didn’t find signs of a burglary (days worth of unopened mail (which burglars look for)) and open door), she never calls for backup. I also think people are minimizing a couple of other factors – nervous/anxious people are often fidgety/uncomfortable (i.e. adjusting his clothes) and she stated that he was checking out his surroundings (making sure the coast was clear). Individually both are innocent, but combined with other factors, the officer could have believed he was acting nervous/suspicous. No car in the driveway often indicates no one is home. I am not saying there wasn’t a racial profiling element to the initial suspicion, and we can debate all day long about the highly subjective indicators of nervousness and subjective interpretation of other contrbuting factors, but I do believe some relevant facts are being downplayed. So, what we seem to have is an officer spotting a nervous looking black man, in area where many burglaries had been committed by black men, exhibiting behaviors which might indicate he doesn’t live there and which the officer is trained to look for, and her initial response is not to detain him, but to investigate further. At this point, isnt’ she doing her job? Maybe I am wrong, but if she had spotted a nervous looking black man exhibiting the same behavior, did nothing and he committed a crime, wouldn’t people be equally upset? Not saying there isn’t room for improvement, but the facts are getting a little twisted/manipulated. And people please stop arguing he wasn’t detained – if he wasn’t free to continue his walk without fear of arrest, he was detained.

                  1. OK. But I also think the age of the man has been downplayed. These crimes were allegedly committed by YOUNG black men, not 50-somethings.

                    1. I agree about his age, and perhaps that question can be better answered. But, I have assumed that she was unable to determine his approximate age. Maybe she was too far away. Maybe she only got a glimpse of his face. Many reasonable explanations.

                  2. “Days worth of unopened mail…” The report said that? Doesn’t seem to make sense seeing as how, after all of this, Mr. Denard was in fact the owner of the house and wasn’t out of town. AT ANY RATE, if the same actions had been taken and Mr. Denard had been one of his White neighbors, THIS. WOULD. NOT. HAVE. HAPPENED. And with everything you said DawgFan, the police, then, should have attributed some of the reasoning for Mr. Denard’s detainment to his skin color. But they didn’t. I would hope that, going forward, anytime the DPD see ANYONE walking down their driveway, looking around, adjusting their clothes, wearing gloves, a hat, dark colors, etc… that they stop EVERYONE. Because according to them, those behaviors draw suspicion. NOT your skin color.

                    I could sarcastically suggest all the Black homeowners in Decatur whom are male throw out all their dark coats, gloves, etc and go for more tan, white, or bright neon yellow outer garments. And that when they walk, hold their hands out to their sides, keep their heads turned straight, and walk as slow as possible to not seem in a rush or nervous. But THAT would just be silly wouldn’t it?? Because in Decatur, if your skin is Black, your are that much more suspicious than if your skin is White.

                    1. “Doesn’t seem to make sense seeing as how, after all of this, Mr. Denard was in fact the owner of the house and wasn’t out of town”

                      That is completely irrelevant. That is exactly what the police were trying to determine. If he wasn’t the owner or an invited guest, you would have a very different opinion about this.

                    2. “And with everything you said DawgFan, the police, then, should have attributed some of the reasoning for Mr. Denard’s detainment to his skin color. ”

                      I doubt the lawyers would let them. CYA.

              2. I wish someone would explain why not checking the mailbox is suspicious. Or adjusting one’s jacket. Or walking.

              3. Thanks – I appreciate your point of view. I would only add that the question of whether or not he was detained is not so cut and dry, but I won’t pretend to be a constitutional scholar if you’ll make the same concession. The cops are precise in their choice of the word “contact” because it is legally different from “detention”, and their position is that he was always free to go.

                I also never denied the existence of racial bias or profiling. I know that it is real and suspect that this type of discussion is helpful whether or not I agree with your interpretation of the Denard situation. I just personally don’t see it in this case, but that has not prevented you from conveniently assigning me to my own group (“people like Bo”), which sounds like a pretty awful bunch.

                You all keep telling me to re-read the report. Well, since the report states that he was not detained or profiled I assume you want me to keep re-reading it until I come to a different conclusion than the author. Having made no progress in that direction, I think I’m going to bow out now. Sorry for being difficult.

    1. Are you really blaming Mr. Denard for this situation?

      “Maybe if he didn’t leave his mail on his front stoop…”

      Like, seriously?

  12. Leaving your home to take a walk is not suspicious.
    It is racial profiling. PERIOD.
    Being a cop is difficult work, they need to own up to this important mistake.

    1. This. +100. I am one of the least anonymous people on this site and I’m sure I’ll take shit for saying this, but DPD’s response to this incident was CRAP. We need to do better.

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