A black rights advocate learned his lesson the hard way after being robbed by the black thug at gunpoint in Ybor City early Saturday morning.
Ali Muhammad is well known in the Bay Area community for calling attention to the need for police reform during the selection process of the police citizens review board. He also wants to put an end to black crime, encouraging community members to come forward after several deadly shootings.
He is the leader of the Tampa chapter of the New Black Panther Party who became the victim of a black-on-black crime after a night of working as a DJ at a club in Ybor City. While walking down 8th Avenue around 3 a.m.
“I was approached by a young black male who just came up to me and said, ‘Give me your earrings and your backpack,'” recalled Muhammad. “He took everything I had. At the time, he didn’t take my cell phone, and that’s what made me call 911.”
Muhammad followed the suspect down the street from a distance, until he was advised to stop by 911 dispatchers.
Along the way, the suspect robbed two other women at gunpoint, according to the police report.
“One lady, she was in tears. She said she couldn’t believe it. He had the gun in her mouth,” said Muhammad, who came in contact with the women after they ran from the suspect.
Within 10 minutes of receiving Muhammad’s call for help, Tampa police had several officers searching for the suspect, described as being shirtless and holding a handgun.
The police found the suspect, 18-year-old Antwan Robertson, and chased him to a nearby Burger King parking lot where he hid behind a dumpster.
Muhammad got back his stolen jewelry and backpack, which held his laptop and ID after officers apprehended the suspect.
He said the ordeal gave him an appreciation for the officers involved.
“Police can be hostile and very belligerent. Friday night, I met some officers who [were] about business, and that was getting a bad guy off the street,” said Muhammad.
He said his misfortune is an example of the black-on-black crime he and the New Black Panthers advocate against in the black community.
Muhammad said the traumatic experience that ended without anyone injured is also an example of why police and the community must be able to come together for a greater good.
“I congratulated the police,” said Muhammad, “I’m very anti-police, but I’m not against police relations and community relations.”