Leader of Black Panthers Shares Newfound Appreciation for Police After Being Robbed
A vocal member of a black rights advocacy group known as ‘Black Panther’ has gained a new appreciation for police after he was robbed at gunpoint in Ybor City. DJ Ali Muhammad is well known throughout the Bay Area for his strong stance on black rights and his insistent calls for police reform. After Mr. Muhammad was a victim of black-on-black crime, he was quick to change his tune and show his gratitude towards the police, drastically opposing his usual stance.
When Mr. Muhammad was walking home late after a night of Djing at a club in Ybor City, he was confronted with a gun to his head. The robber, a young African American named Antwan Robertson, demanded that Mr. Muhammad hand over his earrings and his backpack, before making a break for it. Forgetting to take Mr. Muhammad’s mobile phone, Mr. Muhammad quickly called 911, whilst following the robber at a safe distance.
Before police could arrive, Mr. Robertson robbed two other women, who were in hysterics when they eventually ran into Mr. Muhammad. “One lady, she was in tears,” Mr. Muhammad confirmed, adding: “he had the gun in her mouth.”
Within 10 minutes of his call, Tampa police had arrived at the scene and quickly identified Mr. Robertson after a description given by Mr. Muhammad and the two women. Police chased the 18-year-old, eventually catching him whilst he hid behind a dumpster in a Burger King parking lot. Both women and Mr. Muhammad were able to recover their stolen items whilst officers arrested Mr. Robertson.
“Police can be hostile and very belligerent,” Mr. Muhammad stated, referring to the recent shootings involving unarmed African American males. “Friday night, I met some officers who [were] about business, and that was getting a bad guy off the street.”
Mr. Muhammad used his own misfortunate experience to highlight an issue of black-on-black crime within the community that himself and the Black Panthers advocate against. “To just go out late at night and throw your life away, robbing people, that’s hurting,” Mr. Muhammad began. “Every black life is valuable right now, especially a black male, and for him to keep going on with the norm, continue with the process of going to jail and ending your life like that, as our boys are doing nowadays, it’s very hurting.”
Mr. Muhammad continued to show his gratitude towards the police involved, stating this the incident is an example of why it is essential that the police and the community come together for a ‘greater good’. “I congratulated the police. I’m very anti-police, but I’m not against police relations and community relations.”
According to the police report, Mr. Robertson is being held in the Hillsborough County Jail on a $62,500 bond and is currently facing a collection of charges, including three counts of armed robbery, possession of a firearm and possession of drugs. Mr. Muhammad has vowed to begin focusing on building a healthy relationship between law enforcement and the black community rather than refusing to communicate with police.
Source: Fox 32 Chicago
Photo: Star Tribune, Fox 13