In addition to being a founding member of the group Poor Righteous Teachers, Wise Intelligent is an emcee and a youth organizer. He is the co-founder of Intelligent Seedz, an organization designed to create better opportunities for at-risk youth [click here]. However, he was recently falsely arrested by New Jersey police officers in what they thought was a drugs and/or weapons related matter. The incident, which he feels was fueled by injustice, led Wise to speak on the issue through his blog.
Last Wednesday, Wise was driving home when he came across a friend of his, Diamond, who also happens to be a local musician. They spoke about a few things and exchanged handshakes and Wise continued on his way home. In the process, police sirens followed and officers pulled him over near his home. As they asked him to exit his vehicle, the two officers searched the car and padded him down. They also searched the surrounding areas.
Wise was not told why he was stopped at the time of the arrest but later realized police misunderstood his exchange with Diamond and perceived it as a drug deal. He was told that he was being arrested for assaulting a police officer, a claim he says is false.
“Am I crazy or did he just say I’m being arrested for assault on an officer? Yep, assault on an officer I never touched, disrespected, raised my voice to or challenged in any way?”
In the car, he was asked if he would like to be arrested for assaulting a police officers. According to Wise, he avoided the confrontation and simply said he would “absolutely not” wish that to happen. When he asked for a reason as to why he was being arrested, the officers claimed it was for obstructing an investigation.
“When they realized I was not a drug dealer that had somehow out witted them, but a married father of two, a youth organization director and co-founder without any warrants, prior arrests, traffic or parking violations they felt just a little disappointed!”
He added that he was not upset at the fact that he was stopped.
“Please understand me. I can accept being pulled over because the officer suspected I may have been trafficking, selling or distributing drugs. However, at the moment it is realized that’s not the case, send me on my way…you don’t even have to apologize! But, don’t, after discovering you were wrong, treat me like I am in effect a ‘drug dealer’ who just happened to outwit you this time!”
He went on to note that he feels the system is trying to take advantage of him and others like him.
“Is this what the justice system is? Arresting innocent people on bogus charges knowing most will want to avoid court, missing work and paying for attorneys. So, get them to plea bargain to the lesser tickets and or summons while dropping other charges? Most people take this ‘deal’ to avoid court, attorney fees and possibly more fines, even though they’re innocent! This is extortion, intimidation and abuse of power in the worse way!“
In the end, he left with two tickets and a summons for obstructing an investigation, which can carry up to 6 months in prison and/or $1,000. He plead not guilty to all charges and is awaiting his court date on August 28, 2009. He is also excited about his new documentary, Dying to Learn: The Effects of Lead Poisoning on Young People in Inner City Schools [click here].