I was working on a large construction job out of my home state. Instead of staying in a motel, a few of us would chip in and rent a house or trailer. I was off, so I put it all in my name.
After a week or so, I was at the trailer early one morning when there was a knock on the door. It was the police.
They asked if I was Robert Barnes. I said yes. All they said was, “We need to talk with you. Will you come with us?” I said, “Let me get my coat.”
Later, as I stood before a booking clerk, still asking what was wrong, a lady was sitting there with some papers. She looked at me and looked down at the papers for a moment, then said, “This here says the Robert Barnes we want is black.”
I have been called a lot of things lately, but no one ever said I was a black man.
Don’t run from the police. Don’t fight. Their jobs are hard enough. If there is a problem, it will usually work its way out.