Rayshard Brooks should be alive today celebrating his daughter’s eighth birthday.
Brooks, 27, was shot and killed in an Atlanta Wendy’s parking lot in the latest round of white police gunning down another black male. However, the conversation I plan on having with my son Brandon will only partially touch on the shooting.
We will mostly talk about the mistakes Brooks made leading up to getting shot in the back. My job as a dad is to put my son in the best position to survive a police confrontation. And that’s what I plan to do.
So far we are one for one. I want to continue batting a thousand.
Officer Garrett Rolfe, who fired the fatal shot, was fired. That was the right move. He mortally wounded a man who was running away and posed no threat after misfiring a taser at the officer. He should be fired for that.
I will talk to my son about that. However, we will mostly go over the police cam video that shows Brooks resisting arrest after officers attempted to handcuff him.
Here are the bullet points I plan to go over with my son.
** Don’t drink and drive. Brooks was drunk when he fell asleep in the Wendy’s drive thru.
** Don’t resist arrest. Sometimes we mess up and get caught.
Take your medicine and move on. The initial part of the arrest was text book. The officers played it right. Brooks played it right. Things began to unravel when police attempted to handcuff him.
So why arrest him? Brooks had been driving drunk. If the police call an Uber and tell him to go sleep it off there is a chance he returns to retrieve his car later still drunk. The police cannot have that hanging over their heads in case he harms somebody behind the wheel.
With that said I was once confronted by the Grosse Pointe Woods police. I was not driving at the time, but maybe had one or two too many to get back in the car and drive home. The police knew who I was allowed and told me to call a friend to pick me up.
I retrieved my car the next day.
Would that have worked with Brooks?
So why did he resist? I don’t know the answer because dead men don’t talk. I wondered if he thought about the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis and said these police are not choking me out.
Every black parent I know of has that talk with their kids about what to do and not to do when stopped by the police. Brooks either did not have that talk or forgot that talk when he was confronted.
My son and I have had that talk. We are going over it one more time.
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