AIC’s DuVall tells of police racism experience


Alice In Chains vocalist William DuVall has shared an experience that he believes is an example of police racism.

He says he was detained by officers outside his own home for over half an hour five years ago – even though he’d done nothing wrong.

His comment is part of the #AliveWhileBlack Twitter thread, which, along with companion thread #CrimingWhileWhite, discusses the state of race relations with regard to law and order enforcement.

DuVall tweeted: “Detained pulling into own garage in W Hollywood. Told ‘You don’t live here.’ License shows my address. Still held 30mins. #AliveWhileBlack.”

Tensions have been heightened in the US since New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo was told he’d face no charges after being accused of holding African American Eric Garner in a chokehold, which led to his death.

It follows large-scale unrest centred around the city of Ferguson, Missouri, after officer Darren Wilson shot dead unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, and was not indicted by a grand jury.

Duvall later said via Facebook: “Let me express my heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of support I’ve received from friends and strangers alike over the last 24 hours. I am truly humbled and deeply moved.”

He said of his tweet: “These are the ‘small’ stories, the ‘everyday’ stories, the ones so deeply woven into the fabric of our lives that they almost become mundane. And therein lies the true nature and scope of the problem. I have many more incidents in my life like the one I shared yesterday. But I am doing far better than most.”

The singer expressed concern that many similar experiences, “almost without exception, could have just as easily taken place 50 years ago.” He added: “We have made tremendous strides as a nation, many of them in my own lifetime. I remain extremely proud of that. In the name of our ancestors and our children, we can’t afford to idle and we can’t fall back now.

“We have before us a golden opportunity to take yet another step forward. For all our sakes, I sincerely hope we seize it.”