I love and respect every single police officer, but the constant unjust brutality against black Americans has made me afraid of them. How could I not be afraid, knowing that when I walk by a police officer there is a chance that they could hate the color of my skin and see it as justification for violence? I hear it on the news all the time. I hear people telling stories about their black cousins, fathers, or brothers, who were shot because they were reaching for their license, or who just happened to have a cop show up in their apartment.
The thing is, I have mixed feelings: feelings of love, fear, respect and trust. I don’t really understand how all these feelings stay in one place; they reside deep down in my heart where they are in a perpetual state of war. People say I am disrespectful when I express these feelings, but it is easy for them to say that because they are white. They don’t know what it feels like to have images flashing through your head of your father, brother or any other relatives getting shot by a cop. When I mention these feelings, they say I am disrespectful, but how can I control what I feel? How can I control what I fear? Don’t I have a right to feel this way when constantly I hear of these tragedies that are eating away at my race?
I love officer Thompson, she makes me feel like going to the police station and chilling with every cop. She makes me more comfortable being around police officers and she makes me feel like I can overcome this fear, but as soon as I hear about another incident I revert all the way back to square one. They say I am disrespectful, but my intention isn’t to paint all the officers with a broad brush. I know that not all of them are bad, but the problem is you will never know which one, so I have to watch my back when I walk by one. When I mention these feelings, they say I am disrespectful, but if you consider this as disrespectful, I can’t help the fact that I may be disrespectful forever.
By Rheanna Perrin