It didn't take long before my childhood dreams burned into a pile of ashes. I was home alone when a police officer knocked, hand on her service weapon and ordered me to step outside. I was 12. I unlocked my door slowly, went outside and she asked me if I knew who lived in the house across the street? Sure, that's my Aunt's house! Cops were still friends in my mind. Well, is her Husband's name $^#(E( ##**@? (People still alive, I ain't naming names)
"No, she's not married I said."
"Do you know where this person might live?"
" No, I've never heard of him." Now this wasn't no Camron moment...I was about 11 or 12 and it was still a few years before Compton would become Beirut so I didn't have any gangsta pretensions. The officer left after explaining that she was looking for blah blah blah who gave my aunt's address as his when they arrested him a few nights before and that he was wanted.
After she left I remember there was a Blah Blah on my street but his last name was blah blah wok wok wok wahhhhh!
I thought of the danger she could have put me in. Hell, I would have been Randy from The Wire!
From then on my encounters with police have not been all that positive. From their rude, brash language, the fact that if I'm with two other dudes in a car, then we get followed, the fact I've been stopped, told that I fit the description, when there ain't no way I could have fit it. I'm 5'8 1/2 and at the time was 180 and the dude they were looking for was between 6 feet 4 and 6'7. I was light and he was dark skinned. He was wearing All Black I was just Black!
Cops not friends!
I wondered who Oscar Grant was. I know how the newspapers are describing him, But I mean, who was Oscar? That morning, did he kiss the picture of his daughter and head out for work? Did he iron his work shirt and load up his IPOD before he left the house? Did he leave a dish in the sink figuring that he wash it when he got back?
I know this. Oscar Grant, a Man, a Black Man, A Human Being, 3rd Planet, Oakland, Father, Working dude begged not to be tasered, complied, and was shot in the back! That I know!
The Officer has resigned but has he been arrested? If not, why? If I was arrested for shooting someone I would be arrested, booked, plea, and I wouldn't get bail. Even if it was a tragic accident I wouldn't get bail.
Who was the officer and did he leave his home, kiss his baby, and his wife? Did she complain cause he forgot to take out the trash? What was he thinking as he tried to handcuff a suspect with his service weapon out?
When did Oscar cease to be Oscar and become a Suspect? Was he always just a suspect to the Officer? Did the Officer hear Oscar? Or did the Officer just see a Suspect? A nameless, faceless, statistic riding the BART train?
If You Tube and Cellular Phone cameras didn't exist to film the incident and it happened the same way would Oakland be burning? Strangely, I don't believe it would be. But more importantly Oscar is dead! Does anyone really realize that?
BE Careful! BE Mindful! BE Prayerful!