Archive for August, 2014


protect and serve

“Hi Mr. Police Officer!” I recall my son saying when we walked into the Wendy’s on Telegraph and 5 mile. #Detroit Two police officers were enjoying their lunch. I remember the surprised look on their faces when they saw a little black boy cheerfully greet them. A few moments later, I also remember the joy I felt when I realized that my son had not yet developed a bias for the very ones who are called to “protect and serve.” The two cops engaged my son and I allowed him to approached them and talk, because he had nothing to be afraid of. Although I struggled as I had flashbacks on the 1….2…3…4…5…6…7…numerous times when I was pulled over and confronted by police since I began to drive at 16, I will still teach my son the importance of respecting authority.

Below are a few instances that I recall:

1. As recent as 4th of July weekend of this year (2014), I announced and warned the officer prior to reaching for the glove compartment to get my insurance papers, in fear of making a sudden move…All while my other hand stayed perched on the steering wheel making sure it remained in plain view. Many of my precautions have become second nature to me because I have learned from my “experience”, stories of others and news reports. Be cautious.

2. I recall another instance of helicopters over head and a 12 gauge in my face. “Get out of the car now!” I refused, keeping my hands held high, with a look of wonder, only to be snatched out and slammed against the car, handcuffed, car searched and trashed. I over hear one cop say, “this is not him”, but the one cop refusing to give up and continues to press against me and question me. In the end, with no apology, they simply let me go and refused to give an explanation as to why I was treated so. They realized I was only guilty of being a second year college student at the Michigan State University, who was driving a nice rental car. #mistakenidentity

3. I recall a time being pulled over because my “windows were down and it was cold outside.” #brokenwindow?

4. I recall being pulled over because my “headlights were on and it was daytime.” #nowstandard

5. I recall being detained and demanded to searched because “they assumed that we were trying to steal the car…this is a nice car.” Well, sorry to disappoint, we are friends who were wrestling because I we all wanted to sit in the front seat. Our reply, “now that you see that it is our car, not stolen, tell me why you are requesting to search it again?” We knew our rights, so we refused. They let us go. #havingfun

6. I recall being pulled over because I was trying to “avoid a traffic signal” but I was going to Office Depot. #ineededpaper

7. I recall a time with my wife at my side and my son in the back, while they approached with hands on the guns screaming to “stay in the car.” No worries, my hands will remain visible at all times. “Next time wear your seatbelt and do not place your GPS on the windshield.” I replied, “Mr. Officer, were do you suggest I place it…and I always wear my seatbelt.” #Wheaton,IL …I could go on and these are just a few that I recall.

Reminiscing brings back the feelings of betrayal, disgust, confusion, and anger that cycled through me back then, because I was never really told “why” or their motive for pulling me over. Instead, I was given an excuse to justify what I believe was in their heart. It is unfortunate, but there will come a day when I will have to school my son on the protocol and precautions that are required for him to minimize the chances of those who are supposed to “protect and serve”, saying that he provoked them to take actions that could harm him, embarrass him, or even end his life. Although I will not pass down any bias or cast dispersion on the whole because of a few, as a parent, father, black man in America, I feel that is it my duty to prepare him for what he may encounter.

It does not feel fair or right, but unless you are “me” you can not relate or understand the pressure I still feel as a Black Man. Unfortunately, they do not take the time to realize that I am a God Fearing, educated, gentle, kind-hearted, polite, well mannered, son, husband, father, HUMAN BEING, that is Black.

My heart cries out for the the families of ALL the young men who did nothing to cause their demise. #praying Police have procedures to follow and levels of protocol and progressions that should be adhered to, EVERY TIME. I respect them for putting their lives on the line everyday, to “Protect & Serve.” However, we must not tolerate negligent and even blatant disregard for life.

Does the shot have to be a fatal one? Especially when no weapons are found on the individual?

The Internet and social media has allowed us to witness and contrast the way officers detain and arrest minorities vs. Whites. Example, in Aurora, Colorado James Holmes was “arrested” after killing 15 people and wounding 50. Arrested, not killed. He proved he was a threat, however, the polices reaction was not fatal one.

Media must stop being bias and even silencing their own when it does not benefit their “corporate interest” and “political agendas”. We can not tolerate the slaughter of a community and crippling of family structure. I understand that all cops are not bad, but we must look deeper to determine why the “fatal shot” is becoming all to common.

Saddened and troubled because it is far deeper than what we see. If we do not get to the root and continue to treat the symptoms, it will be just like rubbing alcohol on an open cut to cure Cancer….action that is painful, but has not a solution.

The Original Mentor

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