Yesterday I had the privilege of marrying a young couple who had been through so much to get where they were, including a Stage 3 breast cancer diagnosis and raising two boys who are not their own. They are a mixed race and mixed religion couple, and I was so honored to help them start their lives together as husband and wife.
When I arrived home, I read a story about a black man being shot in the back 7 times by police officers as he attempted to enter his car where his young children were waiting. The article I read said that one of the officers was holding onto his shirt and that he had already been tasered. His family members say he had arrived at the residence to help break up a domestic fight between two women. 9-1-1 shows 5 minutes between calls that there was a domestic disturbance and when this man was shot at point blank range in the back. Yes, it was filmed by someone, and the investigation is ongoing. As of this writing, miraculously the man is still alive.
First let me say that I am from a law enforcement family and have worked in law for several years. I do not believe all the facts have been released yet, and we certainly haven't heard the side of the officers and I hope we do. I'm trying not to pass judgment, as I don't believe it's my place to do so and I feel some allegiance to officers who put their lives on the line every day, especially when responding to domestic calls.
With that said, IN MY WORLD there is no reason why ANYONE should be shot 7 times in the back while someone is holding onto them and children are present. I have been shaking in anger and rage all day. Black lives DO matter, and need the support of all to change the systems that have led to the horrific daily violence reigned down on them for far too long.
I can no longer stand idly by and choose to be 'politically correct' by remaining silent, as a way of avoiding confrontation. It is time for me to use my pen and words to make a difference in the lives of others, and I vow to do so as well as my actions in daily life.
Will you join me? Pledge right now to speak out when you see injustice. Stand up to family members and friends who spout hateful speech, perpetuate racism, sexism, and all other forms of -isms. Because this country was founded on liberty and justice for ALL, not just for some.
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Rev. Ronnie Roll is an interfaith minister, strategic business consultant, conflict resolution specialist and mediator. Her mission and passion lies in helping people build bridges and celebrate life's milestones as a way to further humankind and celebrate our spiritual selves. Because in the end, it's all about Love.