The family has come forward with their attorney, prepared to sue for arresting and criminalizing their family.
Though it remains unclear who reported the family, or how the arrests were initiated, the police came unarguably prepared, showing up at the family with fifteen police cars to arrest a family of five.
They claim that they were standing outside their own home, on the sidewalk and their own porch, not doing anything. A video of the arrest is available, showing family members forcefully arrested in the yard and off of their porch.
One man was even pulled over the railing of the front porch.
You can view the video report here:
WATCH: Chester Township Family Says They Were Arrested For Loitering While Standing Outside Of Their Home https://t.co/kpvUempfVT— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸)1570663780.0
Rachel Briggs, the mother of the home, stated in a press conference that her sons and nephew were arrested on October 1st for loitering, right outside their home. They were placed in jail with high bails, so the family scrambled to get enough money together to bring all the men home.
Briggs' sons and nephew came home on the following day, October 2nd.
But as they were being greeted by fellow family members on the same lawn where they were arrested, Officer Storace who had initiated the arrest of the men the day before, decided to make another appearance to re-arrest the men and several more family members.
As the Briggs' family attorney, Thomas Fitzpatrick, has stated, the case is incredibly complicated and unnecessary.
The Briggs family is Black, and Officer Storace and most of the other officers involved were White.
The family members arrested were also charged with loitering, in a neighborhood where "No Loitering" signs are not used. It should also be noted that loitering laws in Chester Township were abolished in 2012 after their parameters were deemed too vague.
It appears also the police offers may have appeared at the Briggs family's home without cause. The family was not in a loitering area, and there's been no public record of a neighbor calling the police to complain.
People have taken to Twitter, furious for the family and how they were treated.
@tariqnasheed All of that crying and confusion. If you do not understand the system of white supremacy what it is a… https://t.co/SqwMUpQHmV— Exceptional FBA 2.0🇱🇷 (@Exceptional FBA 2.0🇱🇷)1570668878.0
@tariqnasheed Can guarantee these loitering charges have never been giving to any whites in Philly.— INFAMOUS MILITIA™ (@INFAMOUS MILITIA™)1570667328.0
@tariqnasheed The enduring legacy of vagrancy laws and black codes...— coledmarie (@coledmarie)1570671270.0
@tariqnasheed That is so wrong and I hope they sue the heck out of them— Chelle (@Chelle)1570673560.0
@tariqnasheed The “I’m white and I’m right” rules. Vagrancy laws reinstated again— Jus4Black unite we stand #ADOS #StraightBlackPride (@Jus4Black unite we stand #ADOS #StraightBlackPride)1570719354.0
No matter what the police officers' motives may have been, surely the entire situation could have been handled better.
Hopefully the Briggs family will be properly compensated and will be able to feel safe in their home again.The book Policing Black Bodies: How Black Lives Are Surveilled and How to Work for Change is available here.
Have you listened to the first season of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!'?
In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.
We're hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don't miss it when it goes live.
Here's one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!