Why Won't You Mourn With Me?

Romans calls for us to "mourn with those who mourn."  Rom. 12:15. Yet, #MikeBrown is shot and killed, and the first response is not to mourn, it is to judge.  The response is to demonize the victim. The response is to ask questions that really don't have anything to do with the issue.  When will people take off the blinders and face systemic racism heads on?  This is not a black issue!  This is an American issue!  This is a issue of justice!

The most painful part of this process is watching the silence of friends and the Church.  Should we acquire more information? Yes. Are there unanswered questions? Yes, but one fact remains: an unarmed man was shot dead and left in the street for hours like an animal.  This is combined with the deaths of #JohnCrawford, #EricGarner, #Travon Martin, and #JordanDavis.  I find it hard to watch news clips, read articles, and even look at social media because the pain can be unbearable.

I shop at the Wal-Mart in Beavercreek where #JohnCrawford was killed.  Just two weeks ago, I was living within walking distance from the store.  When I heard of the shooting, it reminded me of my experience 4 years ago when I was stopped by the Beavercreek Police for no reason at all.

It was approximately 2:00 a.m. and I had just picked my cousin up from a hospital in Columbus, Ohio. We were riding with a friend when we were pulled over by the officer.  We couldn't imagine why.  My friend said, "Here we go."

He's a black male, so he was accustomed to driving while black.  When the officer came to our window, he told us we ran the red light.

My friend, responded (politely): "No sir, I didn't."

I thought, "What is the officer talking about?  Clearly, the light was green."

After my friend responded to the officer, the officer yelled, "Are you calling me a liar?"

I couldn't believe it.  He just started yelling. We tried to talk to him, but he treated us like animals!  All he saw was the color of our skin.  I thought I was going to explode.  It was only a year before then I was a prosecutor and now I was being profiled.  I felt degraded.  He made me feel less than human. Degree? What degree? Christian, who cares?  Law abiding?  So, what?  Polite?  It doesn't matter.  You are black. You are a criminal.

He ordered my friend out the car.  I thought he was going to kill him.  What do I do?  Who do I call? Will we all die?  I could only pray.  By the grace of God, a Ohio State Trooper showed up to assist. The trooper watched the video.  Guess what?  The light was green.  The Beavercreek officer said it was a close call.  He was a liar.  He stopped us for no reason.

Would he have killed my friend without the intervention of the State Trooper?  Would you have automatically assumed my friend did something wrong?  After all, he was wearing a fitted cap and a white t-shirt.

Racism is real.  Injustice is real.

My personal story could have turned out more tragic.

Instead of jumping on the side of law enforcement from the start, take a step back, don't pick any side and just mourn.  Recognize that someone has just died.  Ask questions of both sides.

People always crucify the victim, but let's start holding law enforcement responsible, as well.


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