"Every time I hear that a policeman has killed another unarmed black man in the United States, I think about how lucky I am to be alive.
My first interaction with police occurred in the fall of 1995, a few months after I arrived from Kenya. I had just bought my first car. One evening, my cousin asked me to drive him and three high school friends -- two white girls and a white male -- to a video arcade in Milpitas, California. As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a police car behind me. The officer followed us as we circled the parking lot looking for a spot. I parked the car, got out and began to walk towards the door.
Two hours later, we left the arcade. As I drove to exit, I noticed a police car behind me. As soon I got on the street, I saw red and blue lights and heard a siren. Before I could pull over, bright flashlights shone directly in my face through the windshield. I stopped in the middle of the street.
An officer on a megaphone began orders. "Turn off the engine. Put hands on your head. With your right hand, roll down your window. Reach over with your right hand and open the door from the outside. Step out of the car. Slowly. Walk backwards."
After a few steps, two officers tackled me to the ground violently and handcuffed me behind my back. They went ransacked my pockets. When they were satisfied that we were not criminals they told me that someone had reported that a vehicle resembling mine was stolen.
For the next 10 years, I didn't protest dozens more cases of such harassment and maltreatment by police. I kept quiet because because I didn't know that as an immigrant I had any rights."