Monday Ministerial Musings
By Rev. Mark William Ennis
2021 Blog Number 17
April 26, 2021
A Letter to my grandsons about staying alive
This week officer Derek Chauvin we convicted of murder for killing George Floyd. Floyd was 46 and had been arrested for passing a counterfeit bill. It was painful to watch the video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s chest and other officers not intervening. Also this week, two teenagers, one black and one Latino were killed by police officers. Makiyah Bryant 16, was shot and killed by a police officer in Ohio while attacking two people with a knife. Adam Toledo, also from Ohio was shot and killed after running from a police officer up a dark alley while holding a gun. He dropped it just before the shot was fired.
One of my grandsons is half black and the other is half Latino. I don’t want similar tragedies to happen to them. I wrote this letter to the boys in the hope that it will help keep them safe.
Dear Mr. Z and Manny,
It is no secret that there are some police officers who abuse their power. In many cases young Latin and Black males are the targets of these abuses of power. I want you two to be safe. Here is my advice to you on how to do that.
- Don’t do illegal things. George Floyd would not have been vulnerable to an abusive police officer had he not been arrested for passing counterfeit money. Makiyah Bryant would not be deceased at age 16 had she not attacked two people with a knife.
- Don’t be out of the house after dark. Adam Toledo would be alive had he not been out at 2:30 am. Nothing good comes from being out in the middle of the night.
- Don’t play with weapons. Makiyah and Adam both were carrying weapons when police officers arrived. They created the circumstances that gave the police a reason to use deadly force.
- Follow the instructions of police officers. Even if they are acting badly, be polite and follow orders. Don’t give an officer a reason to be anxious and overreact with violence.
- Someday you will be driving. If you are pulled over by a police officer, be polite and don’t make the officer nervous.
- Take off sunglasses, turn off the radio keep your hands on the steering wheel, and turn on the dome light if it is dark.
- Always address the officer as “sir”, “Ma’am”, or “officer.”
- Be polite and follow instructions even if the officer is being obnoxious. You can always file a complaint against officers behaving badly. During a pull-over your job is to keep yourself safe.
Yes, boys, unfortunately there are officers who target blacks and Latinos. Some of them use excessive force. Yet, there are ways that you can behave to increase your chances of being safe. Please, use these behaviors and increase your chances of leading long, healthy and prosperous lives. I want to see you two grow to manhood and someday be as old as I am. Black and Brown lives matter. Behave as if they matter to you.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/