Gary Sheffield recalled an incident in 1986 involving his uncle – then-major league pitcher Dwight Gooden – and police officers in Florida in an essay printed Friday.
Sheffield had simply been drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers on the time and Gooden was coming off a World Collection with the New York Mets. Sheffield wrote police officers pulled the pair over with out trigger and Gooden was detained and put onto the bottom.
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Sheffield wrote in The Players’ Tribune that he stepped in.
“At that moment, I didn’t see police officers — I saw men in uniform illegally harassing and assaulting my uncle,” he wrote. “Instinctively, I ran over full-speed to confront them. There were five or six of them, and needless to say, it didn’t go well. In fact, I could’ve been killed.”
Sheffield, Gooden, and their associates had been arrested on the time. A New York Occasions report described the incident as “a routine traffic offense that turned into a furious fight,” in response to MLB.com.
Gooden was charged with battery on a police officer and violently resisting arrest — each felonies. Sheffield additionally obtained a felony cost.
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Sheffield wrote: “Dwight and I got probation. Nothing ever happened to the cops.”
Charles Ehrlich, Gooden’s lawyer on the time, accused officers utilizing “excessive force.” The New York Occasions reported that each one 5 defendants in the case had been black and all six officers had been white. Ehrlich stated there “was reason to believe that racism was involved.”
Sheffield additionally detailed one other incident in 2015 the place he stated he was focused by police. He stated he waved at a police officer whereas they handed one another on the street and was pulled over. He wrote that the officer acknowledged him “but soon disappeared.” He wrote that 5 police automobiles and a Okay-9 unit confirmed up and “they searched everything.”
“At that point, I was told I couldn’t film anything because it was a ‘criminal investigation,” he wrote. “Agitated, an officer grabbed my arm, and we stood eye to eye. I told the officer, ‘I’m gonna count to three, and you better take your hands off of me.’ He did, and then he told us we were free to go.’”
Sheffield then poignantly wrote: “I wasn’t afraid to call out racial bias when I saw it, even when nobody backed me up. So I ask you: Now do you believe me?”
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The previous outfielder wrote he was sharing his tales in wake of the police-involved deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor amongst others.
“This is our time — our time to do God’s work. It isn’t the time to let up. It isn’t the time for superficial comments and empty statements. This is our moment to turn tragedy into triumph. It is our opportunity to put a stop to years of systemic racism, oppression, and discrimination,” Sheffield wrote.