In essence you can be safe in America as a young black man... as long as you are not too "street" even as a teen, even if it's just clothes and a little rap music.
13 year old Darius Simmons was a 6th grader, while moving a garbage can in front of his home his neighbor, 75 year old John Henry Spooner confronted him with a shotgun and accused him of stealing from Mr. Spooner's home. Darius, who was in school the time of the robbery, denied being involved with the theft. John Henry Spooner then shot Darius in his chest, while his hands were raised.See what I mean? A backwards hat! Forget it!
After police arrived, Darius’ body remained on the sidewalk while police questioned his mother, Patricia Larry, in a squad car for approximately two hours.
During the police investigation of the shooting, they searched Ms. Larry’s home. Finding nothing, they proceeded to arrest Darius' older brother for having truancy tickets.
John Spooner was granted a $300,000 bail, (only $30,000 would have to be posted for him to be free). Bail is uncommon when the charge is murder in the first degree.
This all took place in 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Mr. Spooner's trial is to begin next month.
Oh, and you need to not make any sudden moves, respond to all potential "Authority" figures (even those with no license under the law to have authority over you... OK who are we kidding: White Men) with the utmost deference. You must not resist or "give them any lip" ... might even help to call them "sir" or "officer" as needed. I'd also suggest "massa'" but they'll think you are mocking them so don't go with that one even though it's the same basic principle. Keep your head down. Move meekly. Do as they ask. Furthermore, you must be perfect an honors student with no goofy friends who use street slang, no suspensions, heck no detentions-- because anything "bad" about you invalidates your claim to walking freely without being shot. And your claim to defending yourself.
Even then it might not be enough.