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Before a Juneteenth march alongside his teammates and players from the WNBA’s Washington Mystics on Friday, Beal told reporters he was pulled over while driving on the 495 highway in Washington D.C. and an officer instructed him to get out of his car on the median before threatening him.
“He comes up to me and says, ‘What if I f–k up your Monday and put you in a headline and arrest you right now?’ I didn’t do anything. But because I was a black athlete driving a nice vehicle, that’s what he came up with. Now how am I supposed to respond to that?”
Beal said any reaction he could have had in response to the officer would have led to him seeing negative headlines in the press.
Beal said late last month he was meeting with police about reform after the killing of George Floyd.
“And actually I’m figuring out ways to hold panels with DMV Police so we can figure out how we can police our neighborhoods better,” Beal wrote on Twitter. “How we can help them help us, because something need to happen!”
Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested on second-degree murder, third-degree murder and third-degree manslaughter charges after kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes on Memorial Day. Floyd’s killing led to nationwide protests about police brutality and discrimination against black people.
The protests have also led to several black athletes publicly disclosing their negative interactions with police officers. Beal said his story Friday was just one example of several that have happened during his life.