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As a Black Man, I’m Not Okay

The Derek Chauvin trial is extremely traumatizing for me because I very well could’ve been George Floyd [but God]. As those that have read The Unexpected Journey are aware, I had a nervous breakdown on June 20, 2019. While I was no real danger to myself nor my daughter, I needed medical assistance. I received police assistance instead.

The responding police officer drew his gun on me simply because I walked in the kitchen near our knives. I responded in fervent anger in asking him why his finger was on the trigger and if his intent was to kill me in cold blood in front of my onwatching and tearful daughter. I knew that he had ill intent because his gun was pointed way too high. It was literally at face level.

I picked up one of the knives in opposition and told him that if he was going to shoot he might as well make it worth it. He withdrew his gun after realizing that my daughter was watching and tried to talk to me calmly. I wasn’t having it. I demanded that WE call for back up. He called for backup over the radio while I called 911 from my phone and insisted on backup as well.

Backup arrived in the form of six police officers [no paramedics]. One of them was black (rookie officer) and five of them were caucasians. The police officers wanted to take me in for a mental health evaluation but I refused. I refused because I needed to make certain that my daughter was secure prior to going anywhere. I asked them to wait while I called my mom to ask if she could watch over my daughter while I underwent the evaluation. I called my mom but she didn’t answer. The phone rang back a short time later and it was my mom on the other end. I answered the phone and said, “Mom it’s an emergency. I need you to come get Haelee now.” One of the Caucasian officers snatched the phone out of my hand, tossed me on the ground and placed me in the prone position like they did George Floyd.

I resisted by getting up off of the ground and putting up a fight against all six of them. I literally picked two of them up and threw them up against the wall in opposition as I begged for them to just let me talk to my mom. I was able to resist in part because they were only able to get one arm behind my back while the other one remained free. I begged them throughout our fight to just let me talk to my mom yet they refused as they struggled with and beat me. My mom heard everything that was going on and she listened on in fear that she was going to have to soon bury her son. My daughter watched in fear because she thought that she was going to lose her one constant in me. She pleaded with the cops not to kill her dad as they roughed me up. They ordered her to go to her room but she refused because she knew that she’d perhaps need to be a witness in the event that I was either seriously injured or killed.

I might not have lived to tell the story were it not for the rookie police officer and my daughter. He made a plea to his superior officers to allow him to take over and handle me. He helped ensure that my daughter was secure with my mom. And not only that, he personally escorted me to the hospital and sat with me for hours.

You see I could’ve very well been George Floyd had the rookie police officer not stepped in. But not only that, I might not have lived to tell the story had my daughter not been there as a witness. With all of this in mind, the Derek Chauvin trial hits me different and I’m not okay. I’m not okay because George didn’t put up a fight and his life was taken. I put up a fight and I lived to share this story and so many others. While I’m grateful for life nothing makes me any better than George Floyd. We are both someone’s son, father, family member, and friend. This is further compounded by the killing of Daunte Wright, the officer not facing punishment in the Jacob Blake case and so many others. Again I’m not okay to the point that I have trouble sleeping at night. I can take some solace however in knowing that God kept me and that my daughter is my SHERO. I can perhaps rest easy when the case is closed and Derek Chauvin is sentenced for his crimes.

This is why I write. This is why I chose to publish The Unexpected Journey: Fire and Gold. It was time to stop being quiet about injustices.


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