I have seen so many different stories of teenage boys being shot to death by scared police. It isn’t just teens though. There was the college football player trying to get help after an accident that gave him a head injury. The mentally ill man that simply stood in front of two police officers with a knife in his hand. He said he wanted to die.
I think we need to ask ourselves what we can do as communities to stop or prevent these shootings. Seeing all of this makes me afraid for my kids to go out into the community without me. My teenage son wears a black hoodie a lot. He also listens to music thru earbuds, so it is hard for him to hear someone talking to him. I worry that he would be stopped by a cop on the street and not even hear them talking to him.
I watched the footage of a man on a bike stopped by police in a nearby city. He wasn’t treated respectfully until they found out he actually worked for the same city they did.
I’m not saying that some of these people didn’t do something wrong. I’m saying that our country is on such high alert that we no longer think before we act out in fear. That scares me.
I often sub in our city’s high school and I have never been afraid for my safety. The kids are mostly nice. Sometimes I get one of two that think they’re all that or are looking for a fight but they are never violent or aggressive in my presence. I’m not saying that I’ve never had one be mouthy or obstinate. They are teenagers. But I have never been afraid of any of them and I have worked with some of the kids that have anger issues and behavior problems. I think we need to go back to seeing people as people. When we have love, compassion and understanding, it goes a long way to diffusing a problem. My advice to everyone is two fold: Stop and think before acting and get out there and serve the least of them. Want to curb violence? Serve in your community…especially the schools. People with hope are less likely to commit crimes.