Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I'm scared.

I'm scared.

Every time I see someone in a police uniform, my stomach is in knots. I tell myself: don't make eye contact. Maybe if you just keep walking and don't make eye contact they'll know you're not a threat.  I saw an officer on the subway platform after work tonight and I felt like I was going to vomit when he did a double take on me.

Is that normal?

Does the first shot come after a warning or do you just feel the bullet tear into your flesh?

What will they say about me if I'm assaulted by a police officer? Will they say I provoked the officer? What will they say that I did wrong?

It can't be normal to be afraid. Can it? I wasn't always afraid but why am I scared now?

Have I changed?

Last I checked I'm still pint sized. You know me.  But will you believe that I did nothing to justify being killed by a police officer? You should. Nothing about me has changed.  I'm still the person you know. Those who have been killed deserve the same benefit of the doubt.

My mind has changed.

I'm afraid because it is no longer realistic for me to expect that I'll be given the benefit of the doubt and spared long enough to explain myself.

I'm scared that I'll be ended before I am begun.

Initially I was frustrated and upset when I heard about Eric Garner. Then I heard about Mike Brown and today, the lack of justice for John Crawford and a new shooting of a 12-year-old boy DeAntae Farrow.  I'm reminded also of Kendrec McDade, Rekia Boyd, Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell.  

Now I'm confused and scared.

I saw pictures of some officers in full gear wearing wrist bands with the words: "I am Darren Wilson." Does that mean those officers too will shoot me if I raise my hands in surrender? Who will speak for me when I am gone?

As I write this my heart feels like it is being squeezed tight by fear.

Will they know who I am if they stop me, frisk me or shoot me? Who will speak for me? Who will tell my story?

I envy you if you don't live with this fear...