Bonnie Sweeten recently claimed that she and her daughter were abducted by two black men.
Her allegations reminded me of a similar story, that of Charles Stuart’s.
In 1990, Charles Stuart reported that “a black gunman with a raspy voice” forced his way into Charles and his wife’s car at a stoplight, ordered them to drive to Mission Hill, robbed them, then opened fire, shooting Charles in the stomach and Carol in the head.
The Boston Police Department (BPD) searched for the black gunman with a raspy voice. They patted black men down. They beat black men blue. They disrobed their dignity because they fit the description. BPD arrested a man named Willie Bennett. Soon after, they discovered Charles Stuart was the black man with the raspy voice they were looking for. Boston’s blue and white hemorrhaged and the black community harbored hate. The residue still remains.
What we won’t see is the impact that Bonnie Sweeten’s false allegation had on Philadelphia’s African American community. What we won’t see is the two black men carpooling or the two black men chitchatting on the corner, stopped, thrown up against a fence and frisked.
I wonder if she thought how we would feel about her lying on two black men. Why she didn’t accuse two white men?