According to WJCL ABC news: College Student And Quarterback Shai Werts was wrongfully charged with possession of cocaine charges after being stopped in South Carolina. The officers found a “white substance” on the hood of his car – They used a “field kit” to test the substance and they reported that it tested twice for cocaine. Werts denied the truth of this and told them the white substance was bird shit… today it was confirmed that the white substance on the car was indeed dried bird shit after a more accurate substance test revealed that they need to throw the damn field tests all the way away…and also reopen any cases that utilized those tests in the prosecution or conviction of any other folks in the area and throughout the country where that particular test is being utilized.
He pleads with the officer and says “That’s bird shit.” The officer repeatedly tells him it isn’t. While the news there says “they are not sure if it was bird ‘poop'” they are certain that it was not cocaine. It wasn’t cocaine because it was bird shit. It was a white substance on a window because birds shit on windshields and that shit turns white. Imagine Having a potentially life altering experience after having your life altered with multiple news stories plastering your mugshot across the screen, the school considering either suspending or expelling you for what is being alleged, and losing everything you’ve ever worked for because a police officer believes that it is more likely that you, a black person in America, have cocaine plastered on the hood of your car than it is that a bird shat on it.
Werts Was held by police during the course of the stop for almost 33 minutes. The officer told him within 30 seconds of stopping him to “Step Outside the car”. Mind you he was stopped for speeding – this shit ain’t normal. Werts asked “Can I reach for my seatbelt?” And if you are black then you totally understand why he would ask this. The officer then proceeds to take Werts to the back of the vehicle (again this is a speeding ticket) tells him that Werts “Turned off on him…” and “Passed him going 70 miles an hour.” He then says within a minute of having Werts out of the car… 59 seconds to be exact “You’re kinda pissing me off right now.” He proceeds “You know what you’re doing. You’re on the main highway. You’re from NewBerry.” Werts looks utterly confused at this point. That confusion leads to Werts informing the officer that he was NOT “From Newberry.” Werts attempted to explain to the officer that he did not feel safe pulling over in a dark area and had called the police station to let them know that he was complying but simply looking for a well lit area to pull over. And that’s when the officer tells him to turn around and handcuffs him. Here is the full video:
This precipitous chain of events that potentially lead to this young man’s name being dragged through the mud and his life forever changed is one that I wish was an anomaly- but in America…. This is the norm. As a black man, the prospect of being stopped by police alone can cause anxiety… the thought of being falsely accused with evidence and The notion that they will actually believe you are a criminal simply by seeing bird shit on your car… takes the anxiety to a whole new level. This is America. I’m glad that Werts was able to avoid being ensnared in the trap.