A Black man who was withdrawing money from a gas station in Texas said he was approached and interrogated by three armed police officers for having too many credit cards. Fearing he was being racially targeted, he started recording the incident.
“I hadn’t done anything wrong. They ran my name as though I was a criminal,” Brian Friar, 39, told the Daily Mail. “It was very racist to just come to me and ask me whose credit cards I had.”
According to the father-of-six, the incident occurred at a gas station in Burleson on August 12 when he stopped over to use the ATM. He said an officer approached him demanding his ID and asked him to prove the credit cards in his wallet were his.
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“I was at the ATM machine at the store, minding my own business, looking through my cards to see which one I would use. The next thing I know a policeman came up to me saying that I have a lot of credit cards,” Friar said. “Then two other officers pop up. I started filming because I was frightened. He had a gun on him, and the other ones had guns too.”
During the encounter, the officers asked Friar – a Fort Worth resident – how he ended up in Burleson. One of the officers also demanded: “Prove to me that the rest of those cards are yours. You’ve got like ten there.”
In the recording, Friar told the officers he was in a hurry and was trying to meet up with his wife who had a flat tire. The forklift operator told the Daily Mail he was racially profiled by the officers and he would have been treated differently if he was a White man.
“I showed him three cards to show him it was my name on there. He was telling me to slow down. They were harassing me. I was a black man in a dominant white town,” he said. “I wasn’t dressed like a bum – I hadn’t done anything wrong.”
Friar said he started recording out of fear for his safety, pointing out that George Floyd died in a convenience store and the officers involved in his death might have walked free but for the recording of bystanders. He said the officers appeared to activate their body cameras once he started recording.
“I didn’t know what else to do. I was protecting myself,” he said. He also spoke about the Jacob Blake shooting and his recent encounter, saying more work needs to be done and that is why there are still ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in the United States.
Burleson police chief, Billy J. Cordell, confirmed the incident.
“Our three officers had stopped in the QT to take a break and I am told were approached by a male (witness) who told them the gentleman was at an ATM machine attempting to get money while using multiple cards and that the transaction kept being denied,” Cordell said.
“He said the man was acting suspicious. The officers approached the man, activated their body worn cameras and explained why they were contacting him. Officers observed multiple receipts and cards as described by the witness. Officers asked him if he minded sharing identification to match the name on the cards and he eventually provided identification and cards.”
Though he was allowed to leave the store with his withdrawn cash, Friar told the Daily Mail the encounter left him shaken up.
“This stuff is scary. I was scared,” he said.