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African American Man Arrested For Drinking Ice Tea: Must Take Plea or Go To Trial


In the aftermath Trayvon Martin shooting, a can of iced tea became almost iconic and emblematic of injustice and oppression against African Americans in the South (along with, of course, a bag of Skittles). But while we learned that walking home with a can of iced tea and your hoodie up while it’s raining can get you profiled and followed, it certainly couldn’t get you arrested, could it?

Apparently doing nothing other than standing in a parking lot – while African American – and drinking a can of iced tea can get you arrested, all on it’s own. That’s what happened on the evening of April 27th, 2013. Two men were waiting for friends to arrive in the parking lot outside of a state-owned ABC Liquor Store, in Fayeteville North Carolina.

Christopher Lamont Beatty, was one of those two men. He was holding a canned beverage, while his buddy, Tino Brown, was using his cell phone.

Beatty was then asked by a man who approached them what he was drinking. The man claimed to be “the police”, but he was not wearing any uniform, and failed to produce any sort of badge or identifying proof of his status with law enforcement.

The officer was sure that the two must have been drinking alcohol, but insisted, upon turning over his drink for inspection Tino Brown’s drink turned out to not be alcohol at all. Beatty refused to hand his drink over, but showed that it was only an AriZona-brand drink, “Half-and-Half” iced tea and pink lemonade — not alcohol.

The stranger then told Beatty was under arrest. It turned out he actually was a cop, an Alcohol & Beverage Control Law Enforcer, Rick Libero. Beatty was then thrown face-down to the concrete in handcuffs.

Now, the prosecution has said that Beatty must “submit to a year of probation, do 24hours of community service, have a mental health assessment, and submit to drug testing and warrantless searches,” according to the Fayetteville Observer

“It would get it dismissed at the end, but I would still have to take responsibility for my actions, and I felt like I did nothing wrong,” Beatty relayed.

Watch the video of the entire incident below…

Beatty could take this to trial and demand that the State prove it’s case against him… but when he has already faced so much injustice, related to this case, why would he take his chances? So the end result is he might have to take the plea and admit to wrongdoing that he is not in fact guilty of.

(Article by M.B. David; image via YouTube)

1 Comment on "African American Man Arrested For Drinking Ice Tea: Must Take Plea or Go To Trial"

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  1. Kerri Lou says:

    Sounds like what I went through in PA and I ended up pleading guilty in fear that they would some how come up with some lies and find me guilty! I am white so I do not believe this has anything to do with color, I think it’s the fact that these officer’s feel they have a badge and can do whatever they want and they do get away with it!

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