How Do We Hold On to Hope in Times of Injustice?

The first time I saw police officers grab a man and throw him to the ground, I was probably 11 or 12 years old. He wasn’t acting violently. I still have no idea what he did. I know he was addicted to drugs. I could tell by the way his face sagged and the way his eyes moved in that sad, lost way that only drug addicts have. Dirt and grime were all over his clothes. He was talking to himself in a low voice, and his hands were shaking.
I was with a group of kids who were going to the school down the street to get free lunch. It was the summer. We were hungry, and I was hot. When the police car pulled up, the man was walking right in front of us. There were no sirens, just the loud screech of brakes. When the doors flew open, the men in blue ran out with their guns drawn. They never looked at us. They threw that man to the ground, even though he wasn’t fighting back and his hands were in the air.
When they put him in that police car, he was hurt and I was on my knees crying. Helpless. I can still hear the woman’s screams as she ran up to the officers and tried to pull them away. I found out later that the man was actually her son. When I’ve seen police brutality and seen the victims lying in blood or in a casket, those screams have come back to me clear, loud, and guttural, like the sound of pure agony. When I saw it on the front page of the newspaper.

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