When will the injustices at the hands of law enforcement stop for African Americans?
As a child, I was taught that the police were for our protection. My parents told me when a police officer was in your presence to be respectful. Growing up in Brooklyn and Queens, I quickly learned that the respect I was supposed to show slowly turned into fear. Too bad that respect we’re supposed to exhibit sometimes isn’t reciprocated.
I remember one day, my dad was dropping me off at school. I must have been about age 7 at the time. He had just gotten his truck back from it being stolen, so I was happy we didn’t have to take the bus. As soon as he pulled up to my school, we were outrageously surrounded with guns pointed at us. That’s right, guns. NYPD officers surrounded the vehicle. Imagine being that age and having all these officers pointing guns at you, and you have no idea why. No explanation, nothing. All you feel is fear. Am I going to die?
They made me get out of the car and go inside the building. I viewed from my school window as they handcuffed my dad and made him sit on the sidewalk. They made him sit and watch as they dumped out his car. My dad wasn’t a criminal. He had never been arrested. So, he had no idea why he was being detained and searched. They wouldn’t even tell him why they pulled him over. Eventually, they told my dad that the apb that was put out on the truck when it was stolen wasn’t updated. They uncuffed him and told him to pick up his things without any apology or remorse. My father was awfully embarrassed and enraged. I looked at police officers differently from that day forward.
Now a woman in my thirties, I’ve seen so many injustices at the hands of police. I’ve witnessed stop and frisk. Imagine seeing people my age brutality beaten by police for asking why they were being stopped. Police attacking black men and women for no outward reason. People who weren’t resisting. People who couldn’t even move because the officer struck them or have them pinned to where they couldn’t move. Face bloodied for what. I’ve seen officers draw guns at a crowd of teens just to scare them off. At that moment, all you could do is put your hands up and hope you survive.
I’ve been alive to witness the injustices at the hands of law enforcement and pure reacism to The Exonerated five, Amadou Diallo, Abner Louima, Sandra Bland, Manuel Loggins Jr, Ronald Madison, Kendra James, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, Amaud Arbery, and many more.
When does it stop? When will the day come when we are no longer carelessly murdered by the police who have sworn to protect us? When will the word thug be laid to rest when referring to people of color? They hate us because of the color of our skin. They believe we are lazy and nothing but thugs. But wed are so much more than that. I am scared. Most of the people I know are afraid. Protesting peacefully isn’t working. We must come together as one and fight. We must fight! We fight with our black dollar, our black vote, our black culture, but no more talking. It is now time to take some action. We tired; I’m tired. It’s a new day. The revolution will be televised.