Actually, it was the opening to a scene that is bizarre on one level, disturbing on another.
“He’s got a gun,” yelled Michael Foster, a white, 43-year-old man before tackling 62-year-old Clarence Daniels, a Black man shopping for coffee creamer for his wife.
While tussling on the ground, Daniels repeatedly yelled, “I have a permit.”
That did not stop this want-to-be vigilante from trying to make a citizen’s arrest. . . on a law-abiding citizen.
Foster is fortunate Daniels did not exercise his “stand your ground” rights and fire on Foster. Instead, he kept his poise as Foster held him in a choke hold until police came.
That Foster would attack an armed man, unaware if he has a license to carry the gun, as Daniels did, is over the top at best, dangerous at worse. The Sheriff’s Office recommends that vigilante-inclined citizens refrain from taking matters into their own hands, especially when an incident is gun-related. Call 911 or alert security, sheriff’s spokesman Larry McKinnon said, before taking any drastic measure.
Foster’s actions ignites thoughts of John Crawford, a Black man who was gunned down by police at a Walmart near Dayton, Ohio while toting a toy gun. Someone called police and they fired on Crawford within seconds after encountering him.
Also, 12-year-old Tamir Rice, playing with an air gun in a playground in Cleveland, was shot by two officers who rolled up on him after someone called to indicate Rice was seen with a gun that “probably was not real.”
These reported cases of white officers and now a citizen pouncing or firing on Black men in states where you are allowed to carry concealed weapons speaks to the perceived threat whites feel solely based on skin color.
The good news is that Foster was arrested for battery. “Unfortunately, he tackled a guy that was a law-abiding citizen,” McKinnon said. “We understand it’s alarming for people to see other people with guns, but Florida has a large population of concealed weapons permit holders.”