During a February interview with Reconnect, Rayshard Brooks spoke about his Criminal Justice System experience.
“I will keep going until I make it to where I want to be,” Those are the words Rayshard Brooks told an interviewer just months ago. The 27-year-old father of three will never get a chance to fulfill that promise.
Rarely do people get to see what the victims of police brutality were like before they became hashtags. Who are these people whose names we hear every day, besides reminders that cops keep killing black people?
The day that the cops who killed him turned themselves in for his murder, a video of Rayshard Brooks emerged online.
“I’ve always been the type of person too, you know, if you do something things that’s wrong, you pay your debts to society, and that’s the bottom line. I just feel like some of the system could, you know, look at us as individuals. We do have lives, you know. Just a mistake we made, you know, and not just do us as if we are animals,”
Rayshard Brook’s words appear prophetic when one looks at the way he lost his life.
Anyone who has seen the video of what happened in that Wendy’s parking lot can attest that Mr. Brooks was no angel, However, if he could speak today, he would probably utter the phrase “Just a mistake.”
Officers Garrett Rolfe and Daniel Bronson are in county jail tonight, and will never get the chance to hear an apology from Rayshard Brooks. Due to fear, the man whose murder they are charged with is dead when he should be thanking them for saving his life.
In a perfect world, Cops would operate from a mentorship perspective rather than a “law and order” one.
Instead of threatening to arrest Mr. Brooks that day, the officers would have offered to help him.
African Americans all over the country have negative memories associated with the entire criminal justice system. Police abuse them, lawyers don’t defend them, judges crucify them, and the cycle repeats. While his actions weren’t the best, Rayshard Brooks was considering the alternatives.
Imagine facing the possibility of being taken away for your family for a “mistake.” DUI numbers show that drinking and driving is a problem that does not discriminate. Yet for African Americans with a criminal record, a DUI could mean the destruction of families.
From the video of his murder to the video of his reconnect interview, at no point, did anger ever come across his face. Not even as he sucker-punched a cop in the face, Rayshard Brooks looked like a man who just wasn’t trying to go to jail.
Should he have done what he did? No, Should he be dead? Hell no. That is the entire point of the conversation around defunding the police. Mentorship doesn’t require tanks, tear gas, or heavy artillery; it just requires compassion and empathy.
What do you guys think of Rayshard Brook’s reconnect interview? Should the criminal justice system take some blame for the death of convicted felons?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.