I am coming at this as though I was that young man. There was a time in my life where I was that young man. God willing there will be a time where that young man will be me. I had a range of emotions after watching the video, including sadness, confusion, and anger. I was sad because it was another interaction between police and a young black boy. Confusion because I do not understand what would prompt an officer who had all the power in the situation to strike the young man in the face. Lastly, anger because, once again, the individuals assigned to protect and serve did the opposite.
We have another incident of a police officer with an unfortunate encounter with another young black man. But the question remains, “When will it stop?” I have been blessed in my 31 years of life to have nothing but positive encounters with police officers. I have seen those the videos and read the stories of how other black individuals have not been as blessed.
This incident impacts me and other people on so many levels. First and foremost, the young man who was assaulted by the office is living in a world where he has seen young men the same age as him, and even younger, be gunned down by officers. Like most young black men his age, he has lack of trust towards officers and now to experience what he experienced being assaulted by one is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life. The students at the school will have to live with the fact who that an individual assigned to protect and served assaulted one of their classmates. Their school is in the news not for something positive but something negative. The officer involved, whose career is over, will have this label on him for the rest of his career and possibly the rest of his life. I do not know the officer or know his heart. I hope it was something that was a terrible choice and not a display of who he is as a person. We have to think about his family during this time who have to answer these questions about their loved one. No one wins in this situation, and that is something that we have to remember.
Watching the video is disturbing every time. At some point, the interactions between young black men and white officers need to improve. It hurts and pains me to think what the world would be like if I were to have a black son. Sometimes I hope I don’t have one because there are so many factors against them and things are so much harder for them as it was for me growing up.