Am I Next? Why I Have Trust Issues With The Police
Let me start by saying - I have the upmost respect for law enforcement.
I respect the badge and what it stands for to "serve and protect", but I am very uncomfortable with law enforcement when it comes to African-Americans.
I am just going to address the elephant in the room.....I have trust issues with the police!
These issues have been with me since I was a young adult, and it takes a lot for me to open up and become vulnerable without anticipating the other shoe to fall when dealing with the police.
My trust issues stem from being pulled over on more than one occasion because my car "fit the description", or I "fit the description" of some suspect, knowing I hadn't done anything wrong.
Also, being questioned where I'm going, what I'm doing in the area, when I've been visiting family or friends, like I don't belong.
Granted I have received a few traffic violations (guilty), but I have never done anything that would put myself in violation of the law to where I would have multiple squad cars behind me like I'm a menace to society.
I was driving to Walmart when I didn't come to a complete stop at a stop sign (guilty) and the flashing lights came behind me, so I pulled over.
Because the area I was in wasn't well lit, I turned on my interior lights and put my hands on the steering wheel until the officer arrived.
The officer, who was very polite, asked for my identification. I told him it was in my pocket and indicated I was reaching for it instead of a weapon. Once I got it, I gave it to him and placed my hands on the steering wheel while he ran my information.
When he came back, he told me how he appreciated me for being compliant and asked me if I was ok, but he clearly knew I was stressed.
Sir, I just want to make it home.
He then told me "You will be going home we're almost done," and as he went back to his car I immediately started to cry and let out a sigh of relief as I sat in my car regaining my composure.
While I did get off with a warning, I just thought about how lucky I was that the incident worked in my favor, but couldn't help but think about the tragic outcome of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Laquan McDonald and of course the horrific death of George Floyd on Monday.
While I say thank you to all the cops who do their job to uphold the law, I only wish there could be more accountability for officers who abuse their power behind the badge.
I wish police departments would single the bad ones out and also do more community outreach to African-American communities so trust can be restored.
What I'm really trying to say is...We are not your enemy!