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The story I had to share after Kyle Rittenhouse posted his $2 million bail

November 29, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

In this Aug. 26, 2020, photo released by the Antioch Police Department is Kyle Rittenhouse in Antioch, Ill. Rittenhouse is accused of killing two protesters days after Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wis. (Antioch Police Department via AP)

Elizabeth Leiba, writing about why the donations made to bail RIttenhouse out made her remember the time she was a sophomore in college in 1993 and was wrongfully accused of stealing after batteries in her backpack triggered an alarm at a pharmacy, looks at the different ways White people are treated and viewed compared to Black people.

The thought that enough people -- after hearing details of the shooting -- could see Rittenhouse, who is White, as innocent or justified enough in his actions to supply $2 million to get him released, made me think back to an experience I had in 1993: the moments that led up to my arrest as a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Florida, where I was on a full academic scholarship.

That book bag would be at the center of my arrest and ultimately why I felt compelled to post about my encounter on LinkedIn recently.

Seeing Bernice King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , tweet her disbelief over the supportive treatment Rittenhouse was getting and comparing it to Kalief Browder's three years in Riker's Island -- two years of which were spent in solitary confinement -- for allegedly stealing a book bag, triggered memories of my own encounter.

Batteries inside my book bag had caused the theft detector to beep as I exited Eckerd's that Sunday morning.

I rifled through my book bag and found a four-pack of AA batteries I had purchased days earlier.

He asked if I had a receipt for them.

If I couldn't produce the receipt for the batteries immediately, I would need to sign it right then and there, she said.

I keep all receipts.

Where was that receipt?

My lawyer produced a copy of the receipt for the state attorney's office and the criminal charges had been dropped immediately.

As these memories flood my mind, I can't help but ask: How is it that the employees in that pharmacy couldn't give me the benefit of the doubt over a $2. 49 package of batteries, but Rittenhouse, who has been charged with killing two people, can be extended this courtesy?

And it's a problem that instantly causes Black people to collectively ask any time the Kyle Rittenhouses of the world come across our screens: "I wonder how this situation would have played out if he were Black?"

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