America, Black Lives Matter, and Butt: Molly Suzanna
When I was 19, I was driving home erratically, crying. I did a rolling stop through a
red light. I was a mile away from my house. I got pulled over. There are wonderful
police officers in the world. This wasn't one of them. He was of the psychotic variety,
of which there are also quite a few. Demanded I sign the ticket. He was being scary. I
didn't know, nor was I advised, that you can go to jail for not signing a ticket. Usually
an officer just lets you go because you have to appear in court regardless of whether
you sign it. When I said I didn't want to sign it (not understanding any of the
aforementioned stuf), he demanded I get out of the car. My father died three days
later; it's what l'd been crying about. I was 150 pounds soaking wet (at 6'2", that's
pretty slight), halfway through a BA at a private school with a 4.0, and terrified to be
on the side of the road in the dark with a very angry man whom I didn't know. Instead
of getting out of the car, I locked the door. I was afraid. I didn't know better.
He kept screaming at me to, "Stop f"ing crying! It would have been so easy to
deescalate the entire situation
He drug me out of the open car window and onto the ground. He kicked me in the
ribs. He fractured my wrist cuffing me and picking me up by the link between the
cuffs. He held his boot to the back of my head with my face on loose gravel, leaving
what would later become scars. He bounced my head off the side of the car when he
was putting me in, all while laughing. He called for backup and none of the other
officers would touch me. One even said, on camera, "This is wrong, man. She ran a
red light." I, understandably, was hysterical. Crying. Screaming. Huge bruises
starting to form on my face and body. Clothing torn. High heel even broke off
Do you know what I was arrested for and charged with that day? Resisting arrest.
Can you imagine? Resisting arrest.
Fast forward to the jail. I'd never been in trouble. Had no idea what to expect.I
couldn't stop crying. I couldn't breathe. I told them he'd broken my wrist but they
wouldn't believe me. They strapped me in a chair when I wouldn't calm down. Strap
on your forehead. Strap on your chest. Strap on each arm and each leg. Like a
beast. I remember begging for someone to scratch my nose, hysterically sobbing.I
remember being in that chair for hours, topless, because l'd gotten "unruly" during
the strip, cough, and squat procedure and refused to do it. So they ripped my shirt off
and as I fought them, they put me in the chair. I tried to fight back against a female
guard when she tried to rip my pants off. I didn't understand why I was there. I didn't
understand what was happening. I didn't think I should have been arrested. I was
livid. And loud
Then they parked me. For five hours. In that chair. Strapped down. In front of a
men's holding cell. I was literally losing my mind. It was a black man who, for five
hours, while incarcerated himself, talked calmly and softly to me. Sang to me. Said
every kind thing you could imagine. I finally stopped screaming and trying to head
butt or kick anyone who passed. He said, "Stop, or they'll kill you. Just stop baby girl.
It's ok. You'll be ok if you stop." He was an angel. Straight from God
I didn't get to use the phone for a full 12 hours. No one on the planet knew where l
I was so crazy after being in that chair by the time they placed me in a holding cell
that I began to bang my head off the cinderblock wall. They had to let me sit in the
hall, on the ground, because l almost broke my own nose. I was muttering
incoherently and rocking
They mailed me a charge six months later saying they'd found a joint under the back
seat of the bolted in police car and that it belonged to me. How do you hide a joint
from an officer while cuffed with a broken wrist and get it underneath the bolted in
backseat of a cop car? You don't. They offered me every plea in the book on the two
charges, all the way down to a misdemeanor. I would not enter a plea. I went to trial
on a felony. Because I knew my innocence. Because we had the money for a good
attorney. Because the justice system wasn't already systemically stacked against me
and my color and gender were in my favor, as my lawyer pointed out.
During the trial they "lost" my videos. My attorney threatened the city with a lawsuit.
The tapes magically appeared. My jury came back in four minutes with a not guilty
verdict. They were crying after seeing the videos of my arrest and the videos from
inside the jail, of me in that chair. My jurors all hugged me. They told me I should
sue. My dad had just died. I was a college student. I was tired. The prosecutor
dropped the resisting charge when I beat the possession rap; meaning I legally and
literally should never have been arrested in the first place. How do you get arrested
for resisting arrest?
During my trial, my attorney asked him if he kicked me in the ribs repeatedly while I
was already cuffed. He laughed and said, "Yes." My attorney asked, "Do you think
this is funny?" He said, " do."
A week later police in the same town shot an unarmed and senile very elderly black
man in the face because he wouldn't come with them. There were no videos. There
was no social media. You haven't heard about him. But he's dead. You won't hear his
This arrest is still on my record. It doesn't prevent me from anything but I do have to
explain felony charges when I get pulled over or apply for a job.
I have never publicly told this story.
tell it to you, today.
And here's why:
If I were a black man, I would be dead. Plain and simple. Pretty white girls don't get
shot during wrongful arrests. Not any that I know of, and certainly not me.
You can't deny white privilege and what it affords you. To deny it is to acknowledgeit
exists, that you are privy to it. You don't see it because it exists for you.
Something is very wrong in this country. There is a sickness. Black men (and
sometimes women) are dying. They are being gunned down. For no discernible
reason, and at an alarming rate, by white officers.
This white woman’s shocking account of police brutality reveals the importance of the #BlackLivesMatter movementMolly Suzanna shared a story on Facebook that she had never told before: when she was 19, she ran a red light while crying, then was pulled over and forcefully removed and beaten by a police officer. She explains in the letter that she believes her situation would have been even worse had she been black — and she ends the letter with an important call to action.