As if Tuesday’s shooting of Alton Sterling wasn’t bad enough, the proverbial powder keg exploded the following day when Philando Castile was fatally shot after being pulled over for a broken taillight in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Castile informed the officer that a gun was in his vehicle which was perfectly legal since he had a concealed carry permit. The officer shot him as he reached for his wallet. His girlfriend, who was in the vehicle with him, recorded the entire incident in real time on Facebook Live. The worst part in all of this is that the girlfriend’s four year old daughter was in the backseat as all this transpired.
In the absolute worst turn of events possible, an ex-military sniper killed five police officers and wounded seven others on Thursday during a peaceful rally in downtown Dallas.
You will be hard pressed to find a more tumultuous three day period in recent American history than what we experienced this week.
It has been something of a tough situation for me to come to terms with as well. While I can never ignore the history of police brutality against black men I don’t condone the senseless killing of cops either. One of my best friends’ husband is a police officer. I was catching up with her on social media and wanted to know how he deals with hearing about these kind of incidents. As a white officer, there must be times where he feels that people view him as a trigger happy racist.
He told me that he does his job the same way each and every time he goes to work. He took an oath to protect and serve everyone regardless of their race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation. He said that he and everyone else who puts on a uniform are going to do whatever it takes to make sure they I come home to their families. I let him know that I view him as being one of the good guys.
I don’t subscribe to a one size fits all mentality when it comes to cops.
On the flipside, I believe there are certain protocols that all black men should adhere to when they’re pulled over by the police. When a cop pulls a person over I believe that their sincere intention is to diffuse the situation in as peaceful a manner as possible. We as black men need to be in total compliance with whatever the officer tells you to do even when it could be deemed as offensive. It can mean the difference between life and death.
I was pulled over for a routine speeding violation earlier this year. I politely addressed the officer and complied with his requests. He was equally cordial with me.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that all of these tragic events are occurring with such an alarming frequency. It is my hope that these unfortunate incidents will serve as a wakeup call for people in this county to unite and seek God’s face in intense prayer.We need to look past the color of each other’s skin and realize that innocent people are losing their lives for no apparent reason at all. We need to be just as sympathetic for the fallen officer as we are for the fallen civilian. They are both created equal in God’s eyes.
Regardless of how bad things get we should never lose our faith in the humanity of others. While it’s true that we may be experiencing our darkest days I believe that our best days are ahead.