Michelle Obama's brother recalls 'terrifying' time when Chicago cops accused him of stealing his own bike at 10
'It was terrifying only because I was always taught that the police are your friends and they’ll believe the truth. I was telling them the truth and this guy would not believe me,' Craig said
Michelle Obama’s older brother, Craig Robinson, recalled the “heartbreaking” time after police officers accused him of stealing his own bike when he was 10-year-old on the season finale of the former first lady's podcast on Wednesday, September 16. Craig 58, and their mother, Marian Robinson, 83, were invited onto the Michelle Obama Podcast, and the trio weighed in on the raging police brutality and racial inequality in the United States through the personal experience of Michelle's brother. “It was terrifying only because I was always taught that the police are your friends and they’ll believe the truth,” Craig said. “I was telling them the truth and this guy would not believe me."
Craig had previously opened up about the experience in a 2017 interview. His parents had bought for him at the store Goldblatt’s in Chicago. During the podcast, the Robinson family discussed how Marian stood up to the two Chicago police officers who brought Craig home after accusing him over his bike. “This guy grabbed my bike and he wouldn’t let it go,” Craig said, recalling that the officers were asking him questions to purposefully trip him up. “I was like, ‘Oh you got this all wrong, this is my bike, don’t worry, this isn’t a stolen bike,’ and he would not believe me. I was absolutely heartbroken. And I finally said to him, ‘Listen, you can take me to my house and I will prove to you this is my bike.’”
When the two officers brought Craig back to his house, Marian was waiting for them at the front gate. “You know how mom is,” Craig told his sister. “Mom was like, ‘Go in the house.’ You know how when she's ready to talk to somebody, she's like, ‘All right go in the house.’ And all I could think of was: This dude's about to get it.”
Marian then said that said she confronted the police officers, both of whom were African-Americans, about why they continued to harass her son about the bike even after one of the officers admitted they knew Craig was lying. “What you did was cancel out a whole lot of things that we had been teaching them,” Marian remembered telling them. “And I think you need to come back here and talk to them and at least admit you made a serious mistake, so that you won't cancel out everything we've been trying to teach our children.”
Michelle added that such harrowing experiences are “such a way of life” for Black youth in the US. “It doesn't matter who you are and what kind of values you have,” She lamented. “Nobody thinks about the fact that we all come from good families that are trying to teach values. But when you leave the safety of your home and go out into the street, where being Black is a crime in and of itself, we have all had to learn how to operate outside of our homes with a level of caution and fear, because you never know.”