New Yorker Tyeesha Mobley was at a gas station near her Bronx apartment with her two sons when she caught the older boy, aged nine, stealing $10 out of her purse. Thinking this was a good opportunity to teach him a lesson about honesty and consequences, she called the police, asking them to help her communicate the seriousness of stealing.
When the police arrived, however, Mobley’s Arrested Development-style lesson quickly escalated into a terrifying situation. Three of the four officers who arrived at the gas station apparently understood that this was a lighthearted call.
“They started asking Tyleke what did he take,” said Mobley. “He told them. And about three officers was joking around with him, telling him, ‘You can’t be stealing, you’ll wind up going in the police car.'”
The fourth cop, however, had different ideas. He began yelling: “You black b—-es don’t know how to take care of your kids … why are you wasting our time, we aren’t here to raise your kid … why don’t you take your f—ing kid and leave?”
When she tried to follow his order, Mobley says the fourth officer arrested her, refusing to give a reason. While she and her children cried for him to stop, one of the other officers attempted to intervene, saying, “We are not supposed to act like this.”
He replied, “Black b—-es like that … this is how I treat them.”
After her arrest, Mobley was hospitalized for the bruises she’d sustained on her legs thanks to the fourth cop kicking her during the arrest. She successfully fought off child endangerment charges—a pretty interesting charge given that the “endangerment” in question seems to have been calling the police.
Mobley’s two children were placed in foster care for four months, where they reportedly received sub-par care. Now, having recovered her children—who have undoubtedly learned a very different lesson than the one she intended to teach—Mobley is suing the NYPD.
And, to paraphrase J. Walter Weatherman, that’s why you don’t call the police.