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You Asked What's Wrong

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Errol was standing up in handcuffs, me they left alone. Errol got real upset. Worse and worse as time went on. The big black guy was trying to fill out a form, he kept telling Errol to answer, to focus. Errol couldn’t. I don’t blame him. They turning his pockets inside out, sticking their hands down his trousers, patting him down all over. They came sniffing around me, looking for weed, into the bags again, under the benches.

I know why Errol got wild. Wasn’t his brother killed by the cops in the projects when he was growing up? Charlie’s heart stopped. He was only fifteen. He was the oldest out of six. Errol looked up to him, called him Mister sometimes as a joke. Charlie looked out for Errol, Errol being the youngest. Errol needed that. It was a rough place. And when the cops nabbed him, he wasn’t doing nothing, just hanging out in front of the building with his friends. They searched him. Wouldn’t have been soft on him either. Handcuffs behind his back, on the ground, probably some punches and kicks. Charlie’s heart stopped and that was that. Errol’s talked about it a lot. How there was a real big funeral with half the school there. How his mother didn’t stop crying for months. How nothing was done to the policemen, they just kept coming round the neighbourhood, the same cops that killed Charlie.

So you can see why handcuffs, body search and all that is no good for Errol.  He went to pieces. I seen him like that a few times, when his mother passed, when we got news my little brother in the army was blown up.

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