The black American community was in shock today when one Fred Jefferson of Cheverly, Maryland was given the benefit of the doubt.
Jefferson, 14, was shopping in an area 7-11 when a police officer entered the store and proceeded to assume the young man was simply looking for products to buy.
“The cop didn’t hassle him, didn’t even give him a second glance,” said Thomas Wong, an eyewitness to the non-incident, “I assumed he would frisk him at the very least, but it never happened.”
Sue Tennison, one of the store’s clerks, said it was “highly unusual” for a police officer to treat black customers “as if they were human beings, deserving of basic respect and understanding.”
In an interview with this newspaper, Jefferson said he was free to “choose what he wanted to buy” and was able, without incident, “to buy what he chose.”
A spokesman for the local police department said the incident “fell within department parameters, but an internal review of the officer’s actions would take place,” adding, “we take the non-harassment of a black customer very seriously.”