On Tuesday [June 2] while peacefully protesting in Downtown, my brother (15) and I were maced, charged at, beaten with batons, and nearly arrested. After being maced, we pulled back all the people we could see from in front of the police line and my brother promptly pulled out a water bottle with water and baking soda to pour on our faces and the people around us (I had conversed with him on the way there on how to handle tear gas and mace which he was following) and the cop grabbed his hand with the bottle and beat his hand with his baton multiple times until he dropped it. Then proceeded to rip off my brother’s backpack and stole it which we had filled with first aid supplies for protesters (with the help of amazing people who donated). He then grabbed and pulled at my brother to detain him but Allahumdulillah I was able to pull him away and off the sidewalk and into the parking lot. May Allah SWT bless those fellow protesters who gave us water and ice for my brother’s hand as well as lemons for our throats that were on fire. HPD did all of this, COMPLETELY UNPROVOKED. We were asked by cops to get out of the streets and onto the sidewalks prior to this incident and we complied and got onto the sidewalk. Then they did this. While I am not surprised, this was my first time personally/physically encountering police brutality. It brought me to tears, which I held back because my younger brother was there looking up to me. The cause of my tears was that the injustice and brutality that a Black man, woman, and child face became so vivid. I have always used my entire capacity to stand up for what I believe in. And this is something that’s always been dear to my heart, however, now this cause is going to be one of my main focuses in life. I will be continue to be an ally of the Black Revolution/BLM Movement, ’til death do us part.
My purpose of posting this is to show that this happened to me, and my skin isn’t even anywhere close to Black. Now try to imagine what a Black person has to fear for, not just right now, but every single time they step out of their homes. We can not.
Usama Abbas is a University of Houston student.