The following video has made the rounds recently. In the video, we see a White guy getting searched and interrogated by a bouncer in the bathroom of a strip club. The bouncer, who is a larger Black man, accuses him of selling drugs, asks him to empty his pockets, takes money out of his wallet and looks through his phone. Around minute mark 2:50 in the video, the bouncer begins punching the White guy in the head, a total of four times. He locks him in the bathroom and then demands that the White guy kneel on the ground and pray to the, “Great fucking brown dude.” After all is said and done, the Black guy takes all the White guy’s money and sends him on his way.
The news story says that a second bouncer was filming the incident and it was later posted on the internet, most likely for the purposes of amusement, since it landed on World Star Hip Hop. After police got wind of this video, the bouncer, 35-year-old Easton Byfield, was arrested and charged with assault and battery, kidnapping, unarmed robbery and filing a false police report. The filing of a false police report charge came about because the numbskull actually reported that the White guy assaulted him! If you’ve watched the video, you can clearly see that’s not the case.
This video got me heated, not because of the racial angle, as many sites have played up, but because this has happened to me in the past. In my younger, more hedonistic days, I was a hardcore clubber, hitting the clubs 3 to 4 times a week. Illicit drugs were abundant and there came a time when there was a rash of bouncers searching and confiscating money and drugs from club goers. Anyone they suspected of carrying drugs, they searched and robbed, because they knew that if you had even the most minor amount of illegal substances on you, then you weren’t going to call the police. Some clubs were terrible about this.
Once a bouncer followed me into the bathroom and put me in a choke hold, demanding that I give up everything that I was holding or he was going to call the police. Since I didn’t have any drugs on me at the time, it was an empty threat and I didn’t comply. That’s where this guy in the video screwed up. He actually did what the bouncer demanded. Sure he was scared of the bouncer, which is understandable considering his size and that he was outnumbered, but since he was so quick to acquiesce, it makes me think that he actually was holding or at least had been selling drugs in the club as the bouncer claimed. Regardless, a bouncer has no right to search you, unless you let him.
This video isn’t an isolated incident, but something that happens at clubs across America. I’ve known guys that were bouncers from different states who bragged about doing exactly this kind of thing. And beating and robbing were only part of it. I’ve known of girls that had bouncers force them to perform sex acts on them. Usually, they’d find girls that were rolling on ecstasy, which is obvious to notice, search them for drugs and then threaten to turn them over to the police unless they gave them what they wanted. In some places, like Florida, where club culture is more widespread, this type of thing is common.
This is not a simple case of Black on White crime as some have framed it, but a pervasive problem with abuse of authority. While I’ve known a lot of bouncers who were good people, many seem to be persons with serious delusions of grandeur that are quick to take advantage of their imagined position of power.