The Van Dyke trial has taken over my mind for one major reason… My son could be Laquan McDonald. Lost, confused, alone, and suffering from mental illness. My son could one day carry a knife for protection (whether it’s from possible real threats or one that his mind created due to bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, or post tramatic stress syndrome). Who knows? One thing I do know is that if my son was ever in a Laquan McDonald, Mike Brown, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Eric Harris, Rumaine Brisbon, or Tamir Ric position and encountered someone who is supposed to a professional I would want them to handle him professionally. I’d hope that some form of training would have been required that teaches the art of de-escalation, empathy, and preservation of life. I’d hope that my son wouldn’t be used for target practice.
Sixteen shots. After shot 9, 10, 11, and 12 Laquan McDonald was still considered a threat? After laying on the ground lifeless, blood seeping into the streets, Laquan McDonald was still considered dangerous? Someone who is supposed to be trained to deal with a situation that my son or someone else’s son could end up in should fully understand the job they took on. A psychiatrist should understand that they may have to meet with a sociopath, a youth director should understand that they may have to meet with an enraged youth, a police officer should understand that they may encounter a young boy with a knife. There are those situations that require deadly force but this in fact was not one of those times. I’m not oblivious to the fact “professionals” are people to, but what’s been shown lately is quite the opposite.
Closing statements have been given and my mind refuses to be still. What message will be sent across the country if in fact a not guilty verdict is given? I mean, it’s really a retorical question seeing as though the same message has been delivered over and over again regardless of what’s caught on film or said over recorded lines. People are being hired to do jobs that they are ill equipted to handle. Book sense versus street sense matters. There is an abundance of police officers being hired who are afraid of the exact same people they are sworn to protect and serve. Justice is rarely served as it relates to the disadvantaged or undervalued. They are simply shown how much they don’t matter.
What message is being delivered to my 5year old son who wishes to become a police office like his grandafther and so many other relatives before him if Van dyke walks away and is able to continue with his regularly scheduled program? Our men can hold their hands up and yell don’t shoot all they want. It falls on deaf ears. They can cry in fear while falling to their knees. These mere actions are seen by blind eyes. Fact of the matter is blue lights no longer mean help for most they can be the prelude to a death sentence.
My prayers are with the families of those affected by senseless acts of violence for the death of one can affect us all in sucha grave manner. Yet, my tears are also for my son who has to grow up in a world that believes he isn’t worth preserving. May God help us all.
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