On April 4th, 2015, Walter Scott was murdered. He was murdered by a cop. Walter Scott was Black. That cop, unsurprisingly was White. The cop and police precinct tried to cover it up. They said the cop did everything right. He said that there was a tussle over the cop’s taser and that he tried to use the taser on the cop. The cop said he felt “in danger” as per usual when these incidents happen. The cop was sitting pretty for 2 days thinking he got away with murder. Thank the Lord, somebody was filming this whole incident. If you’re reading this, then by now you’ve probably watched the video. If you haven’t, you don’t need to. It’s sickening. It’s a man shot in cold blood. It brings no value to anybody’s life, and hopefully will be the driving force for that cop to spend many a life in jail.
I’m not sure there’s much more to say about the presented facts of this case. I saw a guy get killed. It’s on my heart and mind. I pray for the family of Walter Scott. I pray for justice. And even though this cop is charged with murder, I’m still not convinced he will do anything more than time served after his trial is over. Again, I pray otherwise, but I really have very little faith in the correct thing happening.
But that’s not why I felt compelled to write. I felt compelled because last night after I saw the video, I shared this tragic news with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law who were in the living room of my home attending to my 3 week old son. Immediately, the response was the typical response that we all gave, that this is tragic and very sad. But soon after that my mother-in-law said he shouldn’t have been running from the cops. I couldn’t tell you the infuriation that ran through my body at that statement. At that point she hadn’t seen the video, she had only heard what I said, but she felt like she knew enough to say that the man shouldn’t have run. F$$K THAT! Running wasn’t the problem here. The problem was that this isn’t uncommon news. The problem is that this happens daily. It happens so much that it wasn’t even national news until the video surfaced. Don’t tell me that he was killed because he ran. That’s the same as talking about black on black crime in response to Ferguson. Nobody needs to hear the precautionary tales. That’s not the answer. We shouldn’t be just trying to get to the next day, we should be living in a world where we don’t fear authority. We should be living in a country where we trust our public officials.
My mother in law’s statement is a justification of cops shooting and killing him. Shooting and killing me. Shooting and killing my son. And there is no justification for a cop sending eight shots at a man’s back. There’s no justification for killing an unarmed man that poses zero physical threat. That man who was clearly and justifiably scared for his life tried to run away and save his life. He was unsuccessful. Telling me not to run from the cops feels like telling me to stand there and just accept my execution. Look at Oscar Grant!
I will not and I shall not accept my execution. If I am in Walter Scott’s position I will run 100% of the time and if I am shot in the back and killed, I pray that my family is as lucky as the Scott’s family that a hero of a civilian was able to catch the murder on tape. So DO NOT tell me not to run. I don’t trust cops. None of them. Sure I know that most of them are “good cops”. I understand the statistics really well. But I don’t trust ANY of them. And for the life of me I have no clue what to tell my son. I have about 4 years before my son has an interest in cops and firemen and the normal things that boys think are cool. But what the hell do I tell him when he asks me a real question about cops. Or tells me he thinks cops are cool. Or wants to say hi to a cop on the street? What if he picks up on my fear of cops and asks me why I’m afraid? These are future conversations that I’m dreading and I feel for every man who has a son between the ages of 4 and 8 right now because I know there are lots of uncomfortable family moments and difficult family discussions happening now. I will also pray for strength for the fathers and mothers out there that have these tough teaching moments.
I honestly don’t know what I will tell my son when he’s old enough to have these conversations. And I don’t know if I’m right or wrong, but I damn sure won’t tell him not to run if he feels his life is in danger. My son will not be accepting his execution. Because he’s human. And you shouldn’t have to be shot for being human.
Rest peacefully Walter Scott, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Jones, Antonio Martin, Aura Rosser, Sean Bell, Lavall Hall, Nicholas Thomas, Eric Garner, Akai Gurley, Anthony Hill, Jordan Baker…
Son, Brother, Husband & Father