Colorado Police Detain Black Man for Picking Up Trash at His Own House

On March 1, police in Boulder, Colorado, detained a black man who was picking up trash outside a “cohousing community.” When the man explained that he lived and worked in the building — and that he did not have a weapon – they held him anyway, calling for backup officers.

Thanks to a video posted online, we can see and hear the man talking to law enforcement.

“You’re on my property with a gun in your hand, threatening to shoot me, because I’m picking up trash,” the man says. “I don’t have a weapon. This is a bucket. This is a clamp.”

The individual, who has yet to be identified, informed the cop that he lived and worked in the building. As a statement by Boulder police indicated:

[The man] gave the officer his school identification card. The officer detained the man to investigate further and made a request over the radio for additional assistance to respond indicating that the person was uncooperative and unwilling to put down a blunt object. Several officers responded including a supervisor. The object the man was holding was used to pick up trash.

Officers ultimately determined that the man had a legal right to be on the property and returned the man’s school identification card.

If a white man had been picking up trash, no police officer would’ve stopped to detain him and question whether he was allowed to be on the property. This is racial profiling at its worst.

At least in this case, the police have taken swift action, and the white officer involved has been placed on leave while authorities investigate why he found it necessary to detain the individual.

The same is not true for Stephon Clark, who was shot to death by police in his grandmother’s backyard. On the evening of March 18, 2018, two officers from the Sacramento  Police Department fatally shot Clark, a 22-year-old black man.

The cops were pursuing Clark for allegedly breaking windows, and they shot him because they claimed to have thought he was holding a weapon. But Clark was only found holding a cell phone.

To the anger of many, we learned this week that the California attorney general will not pursue charges against the two police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Clark.

There’s also the outrageous case of two Montana women who were detained by police officers for 40 minutes because they were speaking Spanish.

Ana Suda and Martha Hernandez were shopping at a convenience store in Havre, Montana, when a Border Patrol agent detained them and asked for identification. The agent explained that this was because they were speaking Spanish. If they had been speaking French, there would have been no problem.

The two bilingual women are both American citizens — one born in Texas and the other in California — and they’ve lived in Havre for several years, raising their families and working as certified nurse assistants at a medical center. Suda has filed suit against the Customs and Border Patrol, accusing the agency of violating her constitutional rights against unreasonable seizure and equal protection under the law.

Take Action!

If you’re outraged at these blatant examples of racial profiling, please sign this Care2 petition to show your public support for Ana Suda and Martha Hernandez.

Creating a Care2 petition is easy. If you have an issue you care deeply about, why not start your own petition? Here are some guidelines to help you get started and soon the Care2 community will be signing up to support you.


Photo Credit: Getty Images


Ruth P
Ruth P3 months ago

Pam B. Belinda Lang and Erica M. , I totally agree with you. It's really shocking that it seems like almost anything can be misunderstood for a weapon when the police see it in someone's hand. Next thing you know, the police might arrest someone on a Breathing While Black charge !

Kevin B
Kevin B3 months ago


Leanne K
Leanne K3 months ago

Standing the officer down won’t be at all beneficial, just get him to detain white males doing good deeds. In fact have a quota to reach for all officers. Let’s see how whites react and see how many get shot for their indignation

Coo R
Coo R3 months ago


Vincent T
William T4 months ago

thank you for sharing

Gino C
Gino C4 months ago


Leo C
Leo C4 months ago

thank you for sharing!

Janis K
Janis K4 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Roslyn McBride
Roslyn McBride4 months ago

The U.S. Police are still very prejudiced against African Americans, & interfere, or worse, shoot far too quickly. Time this was stopped.

Julia R
Julia R4 months ago

So the two women who stated that when the police ask you to drop a weapon, " I suggest you do." Did they really read all the facts in this article? What about the poor man who was shot to death even though just had a cell phone and wasn't even given a chance to find out what was in his pocket? A lot of these policemen are guilty of just assuming. And sadly it happens with the majority of cases that these poor victims are either African Americans or Latinos.