• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

— When Abrams finally stopped in a white neighborhood, Brown parked beside him on the street.

"He rolls down his passenger window and says, 'Why are you following me? What do you want?' And I tell him I want to know why he was talking to my kids. He says, 'They were with known drug dealers. I was trying to get your sons to give me their names.' I ask, 'Who? Who are these known drug dealers? If they're known drug dealers, somebody must already know who they are. And do you mean to tell me you were trying to get my sons to give you information about known drug dealers? You were going to put my sons' lives in danger by having them give you information about known drug dealers?'

"I turned to my sons and asked, 'Tell me, who were you with?' And my boys said, 'Momma, we weren't with nobody!'

"I turned to Abrams. I say, 'Who are you?'

"All of a sudden he changes his story. He says, 'I'm really not a police officer. I'm a schoolteacher. One of my students was shot and killed in the area where I was talking to your boys. And my son's and nephew's lives are in danger. I'm conducting my own investigation of what happened.'

"It was such a stupid thing to say. I'm real angry. But at that point I was still calm. I was puzzled. I told him, 'Well, I work for the school district. What school do you work for?'

"And then he says, 'I don't want to tell you because I don't want this to get personal.'

"That was it. I knew he was lying. He was lying, and I was angry. I told him, 'Look, here, motherfucker, you made this shit personal when you stopped my boys and tried to get my son into your car!'

"Then I backed my car up and parked and blocked his car in. And when Abrams sees me backing up my car and parking and blocking him in, he starts getting real nervous, real paranoid, and rolls up his window. I take the Club -- you know, that security device you use on your steering wheel -- and go up to his driver's side window. I see that he's got a cellular phone in his hand, and I tell him to call the police. He's punching numbers into it and I say, 'That's right, motherfucker, you better call the real motherfuckin' police right fuckin' now because I'm about to snatch your ass outta that car and beat the hell out of you!'

"I gave my son some change and told him to go call the police. Then I went around to the back of Abrams's car and pounded on the window with the Club, but not hard enough to break the window. And I tell Abrams, 'You better call somebody, 'cause you're gonna get your ass hurt out here today! Get outta that car and tell me who you are!'

"He says, 'I don't wanna get out of the car because I'm afraid you've got a gun.'

"I say, 'Motherfucker, if I had a gun, I'd have shot your ass a long time ago.'

"So, I hand the Club to my son and I back off a ways so Abrams will get out of the car. There are all these white folks standing on the sidewalk, watching what's happening. And what Abrams did next was real clever. It was very smart. He knows exactly what he's doing. He's real cunning. As he moves to get out of the car, he honks the horn. He honks it just enough to get people's attention. And as he gets out, he sort of raises his hands up in the air. He backs over to the sidewalk and says in this loud voice, 'What do you want from me? Do you wantmoney?'

"And I tell him, 'Hell, no! I don't want no money from you. I want to know who you are and why you were trying to get my son into your car!' Asking, 'Do you want money?' Acting like I was tryin' to rob him. Doin' all that in front of all those people, and he thought he was gonna get away with it. I was real angry. I told my son, 'Hand me back that Club.' I had straight tunnel vision. All I could see was that Club, and all I could think about was beating Abrams with it. I don't know why I thought I needed the Club to beat him. When he got out of the car I could see he was a real small man. I could've beat him with my bare hands. But I wanted the Club, and it's a good thing that my other son ran up about that time and told me that two police were there on bicycles. It's a good thing they showed up because, like I said, by that point I had tunnel vision. All I could see was Abrams and the Club."

If Brown's encounter with Abrams had so far been annoying, what happened next truly tried her patience. Abrams told the police that the reason he stopped Brown's sons was that someone had thrown something at his car, and he wanted to find out who had done it. Brown tried again and again to convince the police that Abrams was lying. She says she pointed out inconsistencies and contradictions in Abrams's account of events. She says she told them that he had flashed a police badge at her. She asked them to search his car. The police told her that everything had been a "misunderstanding."

The word "misunderstanding" still enrages her.

"If the roles had been reversed," she says, "if I had been a white woman and Abrams had been a black man, and I had told the police that he had come to my neighborhood and tried to lure my white child into his car, they wouldn't have called it a misunderstanding. Abrams would have been put in the back of a patrol car and done all of his explaining in the interrogation room at a police station."

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

More from SDReader

Comments

Sign in to comment

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close