On January 3rd, Ben Faulding went to the store to simply purchase a bottle of conditioner, when police ambushed him in the middle of the store aisle with their weapons inexplicably drawn. Following the frightening experience, the resident of New York wrote all about how it all happened in an enlightening thread on Twitter. The thread begins: “Here’s a story about how I nearly just got killed by this cop.”
Another harrowing detail: Ben was wearing noise-cancelling headphones that commonly blend into his long curls, which obviously made being confronted by the police with their guns drawn all the more terrifying.
Faulding explains in the thread that he went to the local store in Long Island following a work out to pick up some hair conditioner. Aa aforementioned, he was wearing his noise-canceling headphones listening to K-Pop super loudly, which drowned out nearly everything around him. After finally picking out his conditioner, Ben turned around and found two police officers with guns approached him and shouting commands; because of his headphones, he could barely hear the officers telling him to get on the ground.
I looked at a couple items, like face wipes. But decided just to get her conditioner. I go to the aisle and was looking for 5 minutes before deciding on one.
I turn to go up the aisle to pay there’s a Nassau County Police officer standing there. With his weapon drawn.
Following a viral video of Daniel Shaver, who was shot by police after reaching to pull up his pants, the memory was fresh in Faulding’s mind–which made him hesitant to take off his headphones without asking first. After yelling multiple times asking if he could remove his headphones, they handcuffed him and searched his pockets before letting him go. It turns out the store clerk was the one who called the cops and reported an armed robbery.
That’s the scary part. Here’s. The infuriating part. The clerk at the store called the police because she thought I was shop lifting. When Nassau County PD got the call. It was for an armed robbery.
Luckily Ben came out of this situation safely, but everybody–including black men–should be able to blast music in their headphones while buying hair products and not fear being shot. Situations like this happen to unsuspecting black men way too often, thankfully this time the ending wasn’t so tragic.