This is the exact kind of treatment that prompted us to leave California. Then here we are trying to get out of the city and meet people in different areas and we're treated like this. Up until that point in the day I hadn't noticed that we were the only people of color but this officers actions was a swift kick in the ass of reality. At that moment I remembered that we didn't look like anyone else, we don't have hair like anyone else, we don't act or talk like anyone else that we were around that day. It really sucks because my husband and I had been discussing moving out of Aurora and into a more remote area. We had traveled from Aurora, to Brush to Longmont that day and were so excited to see houses for sale that we can afford and our imagination was running wild. Now, I don't wish to return to the city of Longmont, I don't want to advertise our business there, and I don't want to visit anyone in that area. To add a cherry on top of the situation, when we left the event on our way home, we made 2 lefts and saw an undercover police car sitting around the corner from the park. And my first thought was "Are you serious!?!!!!!! Aren't there REAL criminals out on the streets that need to be watched?!"
Needless to say this experience has convinced me that Colorado is not the place we will call our permanent home. It hurt and felt like we wasted our time even moving to Colorado. We get that people are not going to understand why we have our hair in dreadlocks or why we even choose to smoke LEGAL marijuana but what really pisses me off is that no one ever tried to understand. No one asks why we smoke and if they did they would know that smoking isn't something we do as a recreational sport to just get high. This plant is a holy sacrament clearly defined in the Bible as food and sustenance that was given to us by God himself! We don't smoke it for fun we smoke it to connect, meditate and communicate with the Creator. So when people stereotype us because of our locks or smoking they don't realize that they are violating our right to practice our spiritual beliefs, or in the phrase Babylon goes by, our "religious beliefs".
Something that adds gas to the fire is that my husband and I never violate laws just to adhere to our beliefs. We left the state where we were born and raised at because of the open-mindedness we thought Colorado was about due to the new marijuana legalization laws. Like I've told many officers from California to Colorado that continue to harass my husband and I over our look and our dreadlocks, we're not bad people, we don't aim to give police a hard time, we don't harm people with our smoking, we don't get angry at or force our beliefs on people, we're not violent and we're upstanding, contributing members to our community, where ever that may be. But to be in a state, completely apart from our families and old friends and treated the exact same way is disheartening and disappointing. All these laws are being passed and yet the discrimination continues. Black and brown people are treated like parasites, like we weren't here before any white skin touched this land.
One of my biggest disappointments as well as amusement at this occurrence is that there was no attempt by this officer to hide his intentions, nor a desire to be clear on what his intentions actually were. In addition, I recall seeing some sort of statement from law enforcement saying that they were not going to be responding to marijuana complaints. So the statement comes out that they won't be going out to these kinds of calls and a couple days later our family is harassed in the park because someone in that area had a problem with 1) people of color 2) people with dreadlocks or 3) people that look like they smoke marijuana. Indirectly, this officer represented his department and the police force as being liars. They say one thing and do another. Which is what we've come to accept as regular treatment from the police but then why even bother making the statement if you have no intention of following it to the letter? What is the point of passing these new laws if police officers who are against it, or officers in general, are not being briefed or re-trained or properly trained to disregard their prejudice, or not stereotype people of color or people with different hair? Re-education needs to be done and enforcement needs to happen. If the police departments are coming out and making statements I feel they need to stick by them, discipline the bad apples that are giving police officers a bad reputation, or just not make the statements at all!