My first experience with police was at five years old, when my house was raided, and my father was assaulted before my very eyes.
I shied away from sharing this story, partly because it’s not just my story, it’s my family’s story too. I was apprehensive because this incident changed our lives as we knew it. We’ve never really discussed the trauma aspect of it, but collectively, we saw police in very negative way that day. I may have mentioned this incident in a previous blog, but not in detail. I’d like to take you back in time with me, I want to share this story through my eyes as a child.
As I grew up, I understood my father’s mistakes and illegal activities are what lead up to the police raiding our house. He is accountable for that. The problem was, that WE the children were NOT handled in a sensitive manner, considering we had nothing to do with the problem. When I look back on this incident, I know it molded my view on law enforcement forever. It cemented negative expectations from them in my mind, and I lost my trust and faith in them, also part of my innocence.
Before this incident, I thought the way most five years olds do. I thought police were the “good guys” that always helped and protected everyone. I trusted the police.
That’s what they taught us in kindergarten, right? They come into our classrooms and talk to us, and teach us about safety. They are friendly and approachable looking, with their shiny badge and neat uniform.
I had no reason to fear or question the police, and my parents never spoke ill of them….On television, kiddie shows, Sesame Street, in cartoons, they were always the good guys.
I never wanted to distrust, dislike, hate, or fear the police. I never wanted to witness first hand how violent and aggressive they can be towards a complying citizen. I never thought of the police in terms of “race”, I never thought of the police as an enemy….. they were just men, in uniforms, with a gun, that were supposed to protect ME.
Well, I will continue in my next blog.
Take Care, Stay safe, and Stay tuned.