The cousin of one of the police officers shot dead in Baton Rouge earlier this month almost died after he was taken into custody, suspected of being involved in the murders, and denied his medicine.
Damarcus Alexander was traveling to the city with a friend from Dallas, Texas, on July 17 when they had to stop at a Walmart just outside of Baton Rouge to buy a white shirt and change into their church clothes.
The two entered the store unaware that Gavin Long had shot six police officers nearby, killing three, including Alexander’s cousin, Montrell Jackson.
They also didn’t know someone had called police and said they saw two black men run into the same Walmart store and change clothes.
Shortly after they got back in the car and left the store, Alexander said he and his friend were stopped by police.
“Hey, you were just in the Walmart changing, right?” an officer asked them, Alexander told the Daily Beast. “You know what just happened in Baton Rouge? We already got the guy who did it, but we think that he probably didn’t work alone so we’re looking into you two.”
Alexander said about 12 police cars arrived on the scene within moments, and that a gas station receipt may have saved him and his friend. The Baton Rouge native kept the receipt after buying coffee and snacks more than 100 miles away at 8:43am. Long opened fire about three minutes earlier.
However, despite the proof they could not have been involved in the shooting, Alexander and his friend were handcuffed, put in the back of a police car, hauled away and thrown into holding cells.
While they were behind bars, Alexander says he almost died as a result of not being given his diabetes medication.
“We were held up from approximately 10:40 am until after 7 pm. They didn’t get me my medicine,” Alexander wrote in an emotional Facebook post.
“I had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance because my blood sugar was so high and rising. I was yelled and cursed at.
“They were so uneducated on my condition that they kept offering me things that would have made my condition worse when I kept telling them that I needed my medicine.”
To make matters worse, Alexander, who has a number of family members on the Baton Rouge Police force, had become aware of the shooting but was not allowed to call relatives to check that they were safe.
“When I asked about phone calls, they were not afforded,” he wrote.
After hours in a holding cell, Alexander said he was in a “semi-comatose state” when an officer called for paramedics who quickly rushed him to Baton Rouge General Hospital.
About the same time, police finished reviewing security camera footage and released Alexander and his friend.
“I just keep asking myself, what if I had never made my best friend stop along our route so I could get a coffee? What if I had thrown the receipt away because I was simply buying snacks and a coffee?” Alexander wrote on Facebook.
“I’m an upstanding citizen. I mentor and tutor young Black men. I am college-educated and have a good job. I’ve been an honor student my whole life. I give to the church. I have never been arrested. I don’t even have any unpaid parking tickets.
“But none of that mattered when they cursed us out and called me a d**k and my friend a b***h.”
SOURCE: Daily Mail UK – Liam Quinn