NPR logo 'Almost Another Dead Black Male': Remembering A Traffic Stop That Got Ugly

'Almost Another Dead Black Male': Remembering A Traffic Stop That Got Ugly

StoryCorps YouTube

Alex Landau, who is black, was raised by his adoptive white parents to believe that skin color didn't matter. But when Alex was pulled over by Denver police officers one night in 2009, he lost his belief in a color-blind world — and nearly lost his life.

In an animation by our friends over at StoryCorps, Landau recalls how police officers responded to his request for a warrant: with blows to the face that took 45 stitches to close up, and a gun held to his head.

Landau, who was a college student at the time, talks to his mother, Patsy Hathaway, about what happened that night and how it affects him to this day. "It wasn't my injuries that hurt," he tells her. "It was just seeing how it devastated you."

In 2011, Landau was awarded a $795,000 settlement by the city of Denver, according to StoryCorps, and "two of the police officers involved have since been fired for uses of excessive force not related to this incident."

Comments

 

Discussions about race, ethnicity and culture tend to get dicey quickly, so we hold our commenters on Code Switch to an especially high bar. We may delete comments we think might derail the conversation. If you're new to Code Switch, please read over our FAQ and NPR's Community Guidelines before commenting. We try to notify commenters individually when we remove their comments, but given that we receive a high volume of comments, we may not always be able to get in touch. If we've removed a comment you felt was a thoughtful and valuable addition to the conversation, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us by emailing codeswitch@npr.org.