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The Voice of the Black Community
Still necessary to have ‘The talk’ about living while Black in America
No matter who you are, your life can be cut short
Published Thursday, April 29, 2021 1:40 pm
by Bonitta Best

North Carolina Central basketball coach LeVelle Moton recalled having a gun pointed at him by Raleigh police during a 2005 traffic stop in which he was released only when a third officer recognized former North Carolina star Raymond Felton as a passenger.

LeVelle Moton never had a knee to his neck, but he did have a gun to his head.

Moton revealed his harrowing experience via Twitter a few days after George Floyd was murdered last year by Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin.
In 2005, Moton and good friend Raymond Felton were driving around in Raleigh one evening when the police pulled them over. Before he knew it, Moton said that he was snatched out of his truck and had a gun pointed at his head.

The Raleigh officers, he said, never asked for his license or registration, and never saw former UNC star Felton inside. Moton was only told he fit the description of someone the officers were looking for.

Before things got worse, another officer arrived and recognized him, and then saw Felton inside the truck. That’s when they realized a mistake had been made.
The officer who pointed the gun apologized and offered his hand, but Moton refused to shake it.

“I was on the phone with my mom when that happened,” Moton said Tuesday night by phone. “No other parent should have to be in that situation.”

To that end, Moton says he’s “had the talk” with both his son and daughter. Men haven’t cornered the market on police brutality. Just ask Sandra Bland. Oh, right, you can’t.

“I tell [son LeVelle Jr.] you can’t do what this person do because you’re black,” Moton said. “In four to five years, I’m going to be teaching [daughter Brooke] how to drive and how to defend herself.”

That’s one reason Moton wasn’t jumping for joy Tuesday after Chauvin was found guilty of three counts of murder. A small victory, yes, but the world isn’t going to change overnight by one guilty verdict the same way racism didn’t stop when a Black man became president. If anything, it got worse.

“One out of 10 police officers [are] found guilty. The rest are getting off,” Moton continued. “Everybody is saying today was justice. It was accountability. [Floyd] not being killed was justice. His kids can’t see him no more.”

Eric Moore, creator of the HBCU website onnidan.com, sports statistician, journalist and a host of other duties, could buy a small island if he had a dollar for every mile he’s traveled. Moore said watching the Chauvin trial reminded him of the time he was pulled over while traveling through Florence, South Carolina, on the way to cover a South Carolina State basketball game. He wasn’t speeding and was not told why he was stopped.

“They said, ‘how are you doing?’ and I said I was going to work a basketball game. They said, ‘OK, go ahead,’” Moore explained.

Moore said he didn’t think it was racial profiling since the officers didn’t seem to be afraid of him. Still, he was stopped.

Moore said he’s had the talk with his adult son to “put both hands on top of the steering wheel and keep them there unless told differently.”

Donal Ware, sports broadcaster and host of From The Press Box To Press Row, says he was a “rebel” back in the day. Now he’s more mature at a time when wisdom is needed most.

“(Back in the day) I talked back,” he said. “As you get older and wiser, I generally try to be aware of those kinds of things and not put myself in a position to have the police pull me over.”

Ware, who has three sons and a daughter, said his talk began long before Floyd, when a 17-year-old named Trayvon Martin was gunned down on his way home by George Zimmerman.

“After Trayvon, I had that talk about the hoodie wearing,” he said. “I wanted to make sure they were aware of wearing a hoodie and what it entailed when they were out and about.”
Nine years later, and this is where we are.

Bonitta Best is sports editor at The Triangle Tribune in Durham.


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