Friday, December 4, 2015

The State of Helplessness In America

I’ve debated writing this for a while now. I’ve sat down so many times to write this but conveying this point I guess makes people uncomfortable. If you go back through the archives of anything I've written you’ll notice a common theme. I have always spoken out against police brutality. It’s something I am passionate about seeing come to an end. And in each post I have ever written I’ve always said this is not anti-police. So as I write about police over reach again allow me to reiterate…I AM NOT ANTI POLICE. What I am is sick and tired everyday of looking on the news and hearing of an unarmed person being shot down. And frankly anyone who reads this should also be damn tired of seeing and hearing it as well.

I’m afraid of the police. There I said it. I know the vast majority of police are brave individuals who are out to do their job and go home to their family. However when I see the case of Laquan McDonald play out how can I not be terrified? I watched the police shoot a guy who was only armed with a 3 inch pocket knife 16 times. Many of those shots came after he was already on the ground. And to make matters worse they actively tried to cover up their crime by lying about the victim, then deleting incriminating footage.

How am I supposed to trust these guys? 

Just a week ago I’m heading home from work and get pulled over. I do so. Before even asking for my ID I get asked why I am wearing a suit and “did I just come from court?” No sir I reply, just coming from work.  He takes my license, leaves me to sit for about 20 minutes and comes back. At this point I still have no idea why I’ve been pulled over. He comes back, asks where I work and leaves me for another 10 minutes.  The fear in my heart was at an all-time high. He comes back, hands me my license and makes a joke. And that was it. 

That wasn’t my only time being terrified out of my mind. You see every day when I go to work I put on a nice suit, strut around with my Ric Flair walk and generally look and carry myself the exact way these idiots who say I’m over reacting should act.  Well, a few months ago I had to take a ride out in a luxury automobile to grab marketing supplies for an event. I put my dealer plates on and pull out of the dealership. A cop immediately pulls up behind me. I signal and move over; he changes lanes and gets right behind me. After following me for about 10 minutes I took my phone out and turned the camera on and began recording my ride.  I thankfully got to my destination parked and got out the car. As I walked to the front door of the destination I look back and notice the same car slowly riding by and I caught eyes with him.

I thought this would be the end of my terrifying ride but that was not the case. As I left and walked back to the car I noticed the same car sitting on the street.  I pulled out the parking lot and the car began to follow me again. It was then I turned my camera back on and began to loudly talk, proclaiming I didn’t have any weapons, I wasn’t under the influence of anything and I was obeying the speed limit. He followed me all the way back to work. I literally wanted to cry in that fancy car and suit that people keep telling you will keep you safe from this kind of thing.  I was so angry, so sad, I felt in a word helpless.

As I sat there, dressed impeccably, respectful to the max, my thoughts weren't "oh he was just doing his job." What justification did this guy have for following me for over 40 minutes? And what makes me feel even more helpless is that even though I have given a detailed glimpse into the world as I see it, people will probably think I am over reacting. It tells me you can read this, not believe me, and tell me my fears aren’t as valid as someone else. 

In a word it makes me feel helpless. I’m sure someone will read this and hit me with an “All Lives Matter” or how hard and dangerous a cop’s job is. 

I don’t deny either of those truths. I just want to know why you deny mine.