If there’s one thing Childish Gambino’s newest music video This is America has taught us – it’s that we are never really safe from the disastrous effects of police brutality and gun violence.
At any given moment, life can be cut short. While Gambino (aka Donald Glover) focuses on African-American strife, a problem Food Envy readers know all too well by now (lest we forget the Starbucks problem and the countless other incidents black people have to deal with in the food industry) – other minorities suffer exactly the same fate at the hands of the local and federal government for reasons just as ludicrous.
Say, for example, almost getting shot for a packet of Mentos.
Having a gun pulled on you isn’t fun in any scenario, especially after making a seemingly harmless purchase at a gas station. But that is exactly what happened to customer Jose Arreola when an off-duty officer pulled out his firearm, believing that Arreola tried stealing Mentos from the checkout counter of a Buena Park Chevron. Two months later, he’s still looking for answers.
Arreola was at a Chevron gas station, and minutes before entering, he took money out of the ATM to buy the mints. As he was finishing up his transaction at the register and getting his change back from his purchase, the man standing behind him pulled his gun and said he was a police officer.
The recently released surveillance footage shows Arreola raising his hands and looking confused as to why the cop had his weapon pulled. The officer told him to put the money and Mentos down. After a few moments, the cashier explained to the cop that Arreola did indeed pay for the mints.
He told the Orange County Register: “It’s been a month and I still can’t shake it. It was traumatic, the whole incident.”
“He was so arrogant and cocky, because he holds a badge—because he’s a cop. We just feel like we can’t trust cops no more. I’ve seen a lot of videos of cops mistreating people, but I never thought it would happen to me. I just feel disappointed.”
In a Facebook post, Buena Park Police Chief Corey Sianez said, “We were aware of this incident after it occurred and we immediately began conducting an administrative investigation into the conduct of the officer involved.”
Arreola can be heard explaining that he paid for the mints, and then the cashier confirmed that the transaction was made. The officer then sheepishly apologized, as a terrified Arreola grabbed his change and walked out of the store.
Maybe the officer wanted to show that he actually was a cop, and if he didn’t have ID, pulling out and cocking his gun was the best thing. I imagine a lot of people would argue otherwise. I mean there wasn’t even a Diet Coke bottle in sight. Where was the danger?