Black Republican Shermichael Singelton said he was “pissed off” after watching a video of Phoenix police terrorizing a Black family over a $5 doll allegedly swiped from a dollar store.
Video of the incident, released by the Phoenix Police Department last week, shows an officer shoving a handcuffed father of two against a patrol car before kicking his leg out from under him, while a second officer points a gun at the man’s fiancée and their two young kids.
The officers, who reportedly threatened to shoot the man “in your f——g face,” were there investigating a report of a theft, according to authorities.
Appearing on a panel for MSNBC’s “Politics Nation,” Singelton said he had no expectation that white folks, and especially conservatives, would speak out against the officers’ treatment of the family.
“I have no expectation that the Republican Party is going to do anything about this,” he told host the Rev. Al Sharpton. “And as an African-American, I don’t have a lot of hope that white people, in general, would do anything about this.”
“Watching that video pisses me off,” the political pundit added. “I’ve got to tell you there’s this characterization that Black men, we aren’t there for our kids, for our wives, girlfriends — and there you have this young guy who is the same age as my brother.”
Driving home his point, Singleton argued that police “treat their dogs better than they treat us,” lamenting that African-Americans have to “beg” police for respect and equal treatment.
Sharpton agreed, adding that the issue of police brutality is now largely a one-sided political issue, with “Black Lives Matter” supporters on one side and white conservatives on the other end who don’t see the problem as an issue at all.
Democratic strategist Joel Payne, who also participated in Saturday’s panel, was also taken aback by the video and said he couldn’t help but think of the impact the incident had on the couple’s young daughters.
“I think about that young man talking about his child, and this is their first interaction with police,” said Payne, noting Father’s Day. “And that’s the life, that’s the life lesson that child is being taught is that in that moment, that police officer was trying to hurt her and to hurt her parents. That’s unacceptable.”
Recalling the incident, Singelton criticized the officer for ordering the woman to put her 1-year-old baby on the ground.
“And she’s standing there pregnant holding the baby!” Sharpton chimed in.
Singleton concluded by questioning how many pleas it would take before police finally start treating Black people with humanity.
Police are supposed “to be there to protect us and provide safety,” he said.
Watch more in the video below.
Sharing my thoughts on how the recent viral video that shows a Black family held at gunpoint & handled aggressively by Phoenix police makes me feel. Despite remaining calm and complying, they were still treated as subhuman. pic.twitter.com/pmGw8qB6m5
— Shermichael Singleton (@Shermichael_) June 17, 2019