I’m no cop cheerleader.
I believe that police officers, like most people, are guided by, whether consciously or subconsciously, their beliefs. I believe that most altercations involving white police officers and black men, women, and children would’ve been solved differently if the suspect was white.
I believe that “Fuck Tha Police” is the greatest protest song ever made.
But I have to call it as I see it and with the current climate of white police claiming that they “feared for their lives” after they’ve shot and killed a black person who was just existing, I must note that 23-year-old Malik McDowell is lucky to be alive.
What started as a routine traffic stop in Lathrup Village, Mich., turned into an all-out brawl with a police officer and the 6-foot, 6-inch, 300-pound defensive tackle. According to TMZ Sports, the cop stopped McDowell “on a snowy February night after he witnessed McDowell’s Jeep spinning out on the road after speeding.”
During the stop, which happened in front of a gas station, the officer told McDowell to stay in his car. Initially, the former Seattle Seahawk, who was a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft, ignored the officer’s demands but eventually opened the backseat driver’s side door and sat down. The officer approached McDowell, asking for his license and registration to which McDowell asks to see a supervisor.
The officer tells McDowell that he’s the highest officer on duty and then informs him that he’s been stopped for speeding and spinning out on the road.
The two argue a bit and then McDowell decides that he’s done with the conversation and enters the store. The officer tells him to put his hands behind his back and all hell breaks loose. The defensive end literally enters the store with the officer hanging onto him like a kite tail. The two tussle for a bit and McDowell ends up on the ground near the entrance door. The officer tells McDowell to lay on his stomach or he’s going to be tased. McDowell keeps repeating that he wants to talk to a supervisor.
The cop warns McDowell again that he’s going to get tased if he doesn’t lay on his stomach so that he can be handcuffed. McDowell’s on autopilot and repeats that he wants to talk to a supervisor.
The officer tases McDowell, which doesn’t appear to phase him. McDowell works his way to his feet and lunges at the officer, still asking for a supervisor.
Now at this point, I must point out a few things:
- The officer has just been dragged up the aisle of the gas station like a child’s blanket.
- The officer is still willing to use non-deadly force as he should be, but we know how these situations play out.
- The tussle fucked up rows of potato chips and snacks. Innocent snacks!
Another officer arrives and helps take McDowell into custody as he’s still asking to speak to a supervisor.
TMZ Sports reports that “The backup officer, who helped subdue McDowell, later wrote in a police report that Malik ‘grabbed for my gun as I was trying to grab his arm.’”
This could’ve have been the moment when this all took a deadly turn but fortunately for McDowell it did not.
Cops say McDowell “had a strong odor of intoxicants emanating from his persons”—but they didn’t note if he smelled of alcohol or drugs, TMZ Sports reports.
McDowell was charged “with 2 counts of felony assaulting and resisting, 1 misdemeanor count of operating while intoxicated and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license,” TMZ Sports reports.
The arresting officer sustained minor injuries. TMZ Sports notes that “McDowell was arraigned back in May—but he’s due back in court later this month.”
This isn’t McDowell’s first run-in with the law; in April he was accused of concealing a stolen truck.
McDowell suffered a concussion during an ATV accident and was waived by the Seahawks in July 2018. He’s currently a free agent and lucky to be alive.
The snacks, however, can’t say the same thing.