Throughout life there are people you know, people you meet, and it’s clear they’ve got it rough. There was a point in my life when I welcomed in all these wounded birds, but I learned through a very slow and agonizing process that you can’t save a bird that’s in mid flight. Birds are wild and free.
Admittedly I never tried to save this one. I drank with him some but I could tell he was shouldering a burden I didn’t need on my plate. I only knew him through mutual friends mind you but he was always a lot of fun to talk to. Troubled but not a threat to anybody at all. He wasn’t a bad guy, the ones that die never are, but he was a victim of his circumstances for sure. Actually what I remember most about him was his heart. I admit that it was a moderately unsavory group we ran with at the time, I met them all at the town pub my first year at the University, but he was always someone to listen whatever the issue. Most everyone in this original group has graduated, I’m pretty sure he did too. He stuck around though, times are tough and housing is pretty cheap here. Anyway though, last night he was shot dead by the local police.
I don’t know the whole story so I won’t make judgments really. He was visiting his ex uninvited and rumor has it he had a knife. Although the knife was not pulled when he was shot. He was shot in the head, kill shot. I found this out before I even got out of bed this morning, on the eve of processing two other stories of the police shooting civilians. Alton Sterlington and Philando Castille.
I don’t know quite what to make of it. Sure I’ve been aware that police brutality and gun violence are both huge problems in our country for a while now but it just got way too real for me with this. We have enough problems without needing to fear the police. I am not condoning the behavior of the man but the cops are trained in methods of restraint, and it really seems like this was a time they ought to have used it. Police Officers, much like politians and all other government workers, need to be held to a standard. If they are not what keeps us from being one giant police state? It’s hard to know the struggles of everyone around us at all times, a little love and patience can go a long way. Be calm and be kind, a bullet to the brain should not be the first line of defense.