Florida Judge Orders Man To Watch '13th' Documentary After Racially Profiling Black Teen
August 18, 2021
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A Florida judge has ordered a white man to watch the Netflix documentary 13th after he aggressively questioned a Black teen last summer.
Around 5:30 a.m. on June 9, 2020, 56-year-old Luis Orlando Santos Santiago spotted a Black teen riding his bike as he was leaving his home and heading to work, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
He then parked his vehicle next to the teen, started video recording the interaction and interrogated him about whether he lived in the neighborhood, to which the teen pointed to his residence. He then asked the 18-year-old to state his exact address to which the teen did.
Before placing a call to 911, Santiago told the teen “You’re not going anywhere. You’re being detained.”
Before the video wraps up, the teen can be heard apologizing to Santiago, according to ABC News.
During the call to law enforcement, he falsely stated that he was an off-duty officer and that he had detained a person who had been breaking into vehicles in the neighborhood and that he captured the criminal activity on camera.
When deputies arrived on the scene, they saw the teen hyperventilating with his hands up because he thought that Santiago was armed and that his life was in danger.
Prosecutors said the teen didn’t break any laws and was heading to basketball practice before encountering Santiago.
Hillsborough Circuit Judge Lyann Goudie ordered Santiago to watch the 2016 documentary directed by Ava DuVernay because it would give him “a very enlightening view of the Black experience in the United States of America,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
In addition to watching the documentary, Goudie ordered Santiago to complete 25 hours of community service, serve a year of probation and partake in anger management and implicit bias classes.
J. Carter Andersen, the teen’s family attorney, put out a statement sharing thoughts from the victim’s mother about how disheartening it was that her son was racially profiled.
“As an African American mother, we have to have difficult conversations with our Black sons, about defusing situations, about keeping your hands up if you are stopped, and complying even if you did nothing wrong,” she said in a statement.
“This is absurd, but unfortunately necessary in our community. I hope people hear this and change the narrative of judging young Black men. My son is an intelligent, well-respected college athlete with a bright future ahead of him. Although this incident has caused him emotional trauma, it did not break him,” she continued.
As a part of his sentencing, Santiago is in the process of drafting an apology letter to the teen. The case is also not being investigated as a hate crime, ABC News reported.