College Professor Details Detainment on Centre Street Because He ‘Fit The Description’

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A blog post by Massachusetts College Art and Design professor Steve Locke in which he describes being stopped and questioned by police on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain (near the corner of Seaverns Avenue across from Purple Cactus, by the sounds of it) for 35 minutes yesterday because police said he "fit the description" of a break-in suspect: "black male, knit hat, puffy coat."

Locke, who lives in Dedham and says he was in JP to pick up a burrito before teaching a class, describes the experience, and his feelings of fear and isolation, in detail:

“Something weird happens when you are on the street being detained by the police. People look at you like you are a criminal. The police are detaining you so clearly you must have done something, otherwise they wouldn’t have you. No one made eye contact with me. I was hoping that someone I knew would walk down the street or come out of one of the shops or get off the 39 bus or come out of JP Licks and say to these cops, 'That’s Steve Locke. What the [EXPLETIVE] are you detaining him for?'”

Police eventually allowed Locke to leave, thanked him for his cooperation, and apologized for “screwing up [his] lunch break,” Locke writes.

The description echoes an incident earlier this year when a block college professor reported feeling racially profiled at Blanchards on Centre Street following a robbery at the store.

h/t @universalhub

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