They will do everything they can to demonize me. My past will be scrutinized for mistakes that they can use to stain my reputation and justify their actions. The picture they’ll paint will be of a troubled young man whose so-called reliance on prescription medication (anti-depressants) made him unstable. His previous transgressions represent a pattern of poor decision-making which renders him untrustworthy and threatening.
Questionable recreational habits, coupled with moderate anxiety and depression, made him unpredictable so the officer’s apprehension was reasonable when approaching the suspect. Colorful criminal profiles of several family members may indicate involvement in illicit activities.
I have a feeling a police statement would sound something like that.
But it sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
The police look for anything they can use to discredit, villainize, and dehumanize someone. This usually involves taking a handful of minor indiscretions and using them to build a character profile that’ll negatively represent an individual. Even if someone does the right thing 99.99999% of the time, they’ll take that .00001% and use it against them.
Take, for example, the Amber Guyger case when a search of the victim’s apartment yielded a bag of marijuana. This discovery was then used to discredit the victim’s name and act as if the murder was justified.
They did the same with Trayvon Martin and many other victims of police brutality (I know Mr. Martin was not a police shooting issue, but worth mentioning how badly they tarnished his name).
The scary part is it could happen to me, or you. As we’ve seen, it can happen anywhere, at any time, in any place, even inside your home.
It is terrifying.
(statistically speaking, it’s an unlikely occurrence but it’s still scary to think the ones who are supposed to protect you are the ones who could be responsible for your demise)
If it does happen to me though…
Know that I have not been perfect in my life. No one has.
I’ve reacted in anger in my past. It doesn’t mean I have violent tendencies or am boiling with rage all the time. They will project the contrary, of course. It simply means I’m human and can get excitable when pushed far enough. The older I get, the more mellow I become, and I don’t experience as much anger as in my youth. The propensity to react with fury has decreased exponentially, but it doesn’t mean I won’t respond when provoked.
They say to stay calm, don’t make sudden movements and comply with officer commands, but I don’t know how well I’d do under extreme duress. If someone is shouting at me and waving a gun in my face I may freak-out. I’d like to think my demeanor would save me but instinctual preservatory reactions are difficult to control in high-stress and potentially life-threatening situations.
It’s easy to say I’d stay calm while I am calm, but who knows what decisions I’d make under those pretenses. Regardless, unless it was consistent behavior seen from me today, my past anger should not be incriminating.
If they try to use my home life against me…
Don’t let your idea of morality convince you of my guilt.
Just because I do some things in my home life that you may not, it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. Nor does it mean I deserve to be shot at. I’m not practicing criminal activity except for going five (sometimes ten on the highway) miles over the speed limit and when there are no pedestrians, I sometimes come to a rolling stop at stop signs.
Who I am, what I believe, and what I do in my home are not indicators of sinister behavior. The powers that be will still use them against me though.
If they do kill me…
I hope it had nothing to do with the color of my skin. It’s a stupid reason to die. I hope my pigment did not increase the officer’s perception of a threat.
But know that if I did react aggressively toward an officer it was an uncharacteristic response. If I was unable or unwilling to comply, know it was likely out of fear or anger from an injustice done to me or someone I cared about. Know that if I fought back, I thought it necessary to defend myself or loved ones.
If they asked for my hands, I may have moved them too fast, possibly indicating that I was reaching for something. I do not and will never own a weapon so that should be out of the question.
Perhaps I moved my hands too slowly since adrenaline altered my brain’s response time…to me, I moved slowly because police interaction is petrifying but to them, I was on something (drugs). Let’s just hope those reactions are not perceived incorrectly as the results could be deadly.
Please know that I’ll always do my best to comply. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen time and time again, it doesn’t seem to matter. All I can hope is that the truth comes out and my name is left intact.
Lastly, know that in a sound state of mind, I am not the monster they’d make me out to be. I tried my best, in spite of being a human who is prone to making mistakes, to be a decent member of society.
Before you go!
I’m interested to read your thoughts on the matter and will be diligent in responding so please be sure to voice them in the ‘Comments’ section!
Lastly, Awesome news! My book, Through the Devil’s Eyes, is now available on Amazon! If you enjoy my writing or are interested in a story about God and the Devil fighting over our souls then you should check it out (both ebook and paper copies are available!)!