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    Black twins deemed suspicious and subjected to a police stop for riding bicycles in Pennsylvania suburbs. #BlackLivesMatter #TheMainLine

    My Suspicious Black Boys

    I do.

    My African American sons (twins) were riding their bicycles with a friend in the Greens of Waynesboro (a Philadelphia suburban neighborhood) Friday afternoon. The boys were videotaped and followed through your neighborhood for approximately ten minutes by a white woman with short dark brown/black hair who was driving a white Jeep SUV.

    My sons are fifteen years old boy scouts who attend the Lawrenceville School and Friend’s Central. They have friends who live in the Greens of Waynesboro. They are actively involved in our church, and unlike many children their age, they opted to go swimming at a friend’s house and ride bikes (rather than play video games) that day.

    As they were leaving your neighborhood two police cars stopped them because "suspicious" activity had been reported. The boys were sandwiched in between the cars and terrified. Their information was taken and a police incident report was filed. When I heard about this I went to the police station and was told that there have been some burglaries in the area. The complainant was worried because she was going to be leaving town and the boys had on back packs (which contained their wet swim suits and towels).

    But we all know that the real reason the call was made to the police was because they are black. I understand that there have been several recent burglaries in your community and everyone is on a heightened sense of alert because of that. However, I am grateful that a friend has agreed to share this letter with your community because I want you to understand the kind of heightened alert I am on every day and every time my sons leave the safety of their home.

    To the woman who was following and videotaping my sons, you frightened two young men who have lived in this community their whole lives. Please explain to me why my sons were so frightening and suspicious? Do you fear every child riding a bicycle in your community? Are backpacks the Berwyn PA equivalent of a hoodie?

    Please understand where my heightened alert comes from. Whatever you think of the Trayvon Martin verdict several things are clear. The young black man (who is now dead) was perceived as one who was ‚Äúsuspicious and did not belong in that community‚ÄĚ. These are the words that were told to the police about my boys.

    To the parents in the Greens at Waynesboro, how would you feel knowing that a stranger has a video tape of your children. How would you feel knowing that there is now a police incident report with your children’s names, address and birthdays permanently a part of an official record? How would you feel if your children tell you now that they no longer feel comfortable going to their friends’ homes, or riding their bicycles?