domingo, 2 de agosto de 2020

A Situation of Police Brutality / Abuse of Power



I sometimes have stories to share but no time to share them properly. Here is a story I've felt I should share, but don't necessarily have the proper time to share it, so please comment any questions below and I will clarify! 

During the pandemic, my family and the boys in the group home have stayed at the volunteer house, since it's more isolated. I believe I have mentioned that our neighbor boards and trains horses as we have brought our groups of students there on field trips this summer. Three boys in the group home took lesson with our neighbor over the course of a month. This was motivated by the fact that they love to ride the volunteer house horse Rosita, but he observed that they were in fact mistreating her in their ignorance. 

During their last lesson, he went on a trail ride with them. He was hesitant to do this before as he thought they weren't ready, although they thought they were, and would run off in excitement. This is exactly what they did. One ran ahead and came to the volunteer house to ask me to take his picture. The other two followed. He didn't find me and they all returned to the trail with our neighbor. But an altercation took place between one of the boys and our neighbor's young son as they returned to where they were supposed to be. 

They continued on their trail ride after being reprimanded, when the neighbor's son showed up with a man. They explained that the man was outraged and accusing them of saying a bad word to the neighbor's son. They weren't sure who the man was. One boy got off the horse and handed it in, saying he felt threatened. The other two continued back to the stables with our neighbor. 

Back at the stables, one boy complained to our neighbor's wife and her sister that the man was out of line in the way he spoke with them threateningly, and they had not said a bad word to the son. He didn't know that the man was the husband of our neighbor's wife's sister at the time, or that he was a police officer, not in uniform. As he spoke to the women, the man pulled a gun out on him. He had learned through his life experiences to not back down from such pressure and show fear so he stood his ground. The man cocked his gun and the women held him back. 

It can be concluded that this police officer was extra offended by the confidence in this boy because he and the other boys are Haitian, whereas the police officer is Dominican. When he initially approached them, it seemed to be an effort to put them in their place socially, and I believe those words were used. Whether or not the police officer felt socially superior due to having a somewhat lighter skin tone, I don't know. I normally hear reference to nationality in a negative manner, more often than skin tone, although racism does come up sometimes. 

I got home shortly after and the boys were very upset. They knew they should not have run off, but didn't understand where the gun was necessary. I went with the boy who had the gun pulled on him to our neighbor's house. Our neighbor had not understood all that had happened as he was in the stables when the altercation with the gun took place. After explaining, he advised the boy to submit and try to come out as innocent in any altercation in life, although it may be challenging. He urged him to do this for his own protection, and to handle things in what he found to be a more productive way. He also said that he would talk to his sort of brother-in-law as he was not happy with his judgment in the situation, on his property. It took a bit of talking to get to this conclusion, but this was the final conclusion made. 

I was happy with the way the situation was resolved. This took place about one month ago. We are blessed to have a loving neighbor like him. He is always happy to share God's word and put it into practice. He also really enjoys youth and wants to invest in the youth of the community. Thankfully, nothing more happened during this situation. 

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