Had to get up. Had to walk away. It broke me apart and hurt in my mother bones. I became the Angry one again. The little girl of me spoke her victim words: “Someone. Help. Please Make It Stop!”
So here it is. He’s an unarmed black 16-year-old trying to stop somebody else’s cat fight at school. The cops roll in. He sits on the curb away from commotion. SITS on the curb crying. And you come and assault him after he wouldn’t put his hands behind his back to be cuffed for trying to break up a fight. You put your body on top of his frightened body and proceeded to hit him. When that didn’t work, your partner dove in and hit him some more, now two of you have him pinned, bystanders filming, asking why are you [hitting an unarmed teen?] I was afraid of what was to come. I remembered the other deaths I didn’t want to see, vowing to protect my fragile insides from a death I couldn’t prevent, some other crime that’s just so easy to click off the screen and avoid. I was so afraid that boy or the bystanders were going to get shot, and all I could think was he’s somebody’s child, please make it stop, feeling sick, angry, and shaking. It happened last Wednesday, heard about it today, and now I’m wondering what to do with this Anger. Then the other words came, the ones that the lawful people say: “Well maybe he shouldn’t have gotten involved; shouldn’t have resisted arrest so it didn’t have to escalate; too bad he has emotional issues and didn’t understand, but the law is the law, I mean, they weren’t hitting him that hard after all; they have a job to do, and this is just more anti-cop propaganda; sweet baby Jesus deliver America from the carnage.”
So now I get to choose not to get in my car and drive up to the Baltimore County PD and ask the officer at the front desk if he had a really bad day last Wednesday and dump bales and bales and bales of my hateful words in the hallway, plaster them all over the walls for the assault committed on a teenager and get arrested so I could spit on them and ask “How’d you like me to hit YOUR kids?” Now I get to choose not to call the desk or spam their Twitter with RAGE. How COULD YOU? Now I get to see what kind of woman I am, right now, who feels that no tear, no candle, no word makes a difference. It’s all a waste of time. The teenager should have been a man and let them take him in peacefully and work it all out down at the station. Why let it bother me? Shrug. Click.
I’m writing in the dark because I just can’t bring myself to light a candle for justice. For peace. For wisdom. I can choose to stay in the dark where it’s safe to fume and cry, to grind my teeth…or stand up and find a better way. Now I get to choose what kind of woman I want to be, to seek justice and peace with words along with action. And sometimes it is so. damned. hard.
A little time has passed where I could collect myself, and I would like to end this progression of thoughts this way: Anyone who has been the victim of a person who was violently out of control, as I have been, will understand why it is not okay that these officers allowed their emotions to escalate into losing control of themselves. They couldn’t control a terrified teenager, they got angry and hit him repeatedly, which is the act of someone out of control. Their actions are under review, and this evening I will meditate on what kind of positive force I can be for everyone.