Two Newark cops showed up to a domestic violence call right as I was walking out the door last night. The first thing they did was announce that everything was being recorded. Then one of them turned to the five kids who were clearly under 18 sitting on the steps and started asking them if they saw anyone wandering around or whatever. One of the kids was stuttering out some kinda answer, and I interrupted like, “Ya’ll do not have to say anything to them. You’re too young. They shouldn’t even be trying to talk to you.” Everybody got quiet. The cop was giving me a death stare, but you know he turned right around after to finally attend to the door they were supposed to be knocking on.
That incident is still on my mind today because both groups needed to be checked. Kids need to be reminded again and again that they should never speak to police, even if it’s something that seems innocent. Even if they’re not being implicated in the situation, if they speak on it, now they are. And those cops probably do that all the time—“casually” walk up and start asking questions to whoever is around. It was business as usual. Neither one seemed to mind how young or how involved the kids were in the actual situation. Any gossip was good enough for them. But to me, it was important to shut the whole thing down. I hope those kids know now what to say if cops come up to them, and I really hope those cops think twice before speaking to minors.