I Am a Black Man and I Am a Police Officer—But I Am Not Derick Chauvin, and I Am Not George Floyd

black man

I am a black man

I am a police officer

But I am not Derek Chauvin

And I am not George Floyd

I am ME

I am compassionate and I am caring, I have a very big heart….so why do you hate me? I’ve given the socks off my feet to a homeless drunk who had no shoes; I’ve prevented a woman from going to jail for stealing laundry detergent by paying the store for it so they wouldn’t prosecute, after I found the lady next door at a laundromat washing her children’s clothes – she was desperate and had no money; The other day an elderly mans car broke down on the side of a busy road and he had no phone, so I drove him to the gas station up the block and paid for his gas.

I’m a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a nephew, a cousin, a friend….so why do you want to hurt or kill me? – I’ve stepped in and arrested that man that assaulted your grandmother, he knocked her down and snatched her purse and we chased him down and took him to jail; A lady called 911 in a panic and told the dispatchers her 4 month old baby wasn’t breathing – we got there before the paramedics and started compressions – BY THE GRACE OF GOD that baby is now a happy little bright kindergartener; a crazed man began opening fire on a large crowd – in the mass hysteria of people running away – we ran towards the gunfire to stop it.

black man

I speak slang, instead of “Hello” I say “Whats Good Yo?”, some say I have an inner city accent, and I may not spell everything correctly or use perfect grammar…But why do you undermine me and assume I’m not smart and ignorant? – I have a high school and a college degree, I love to read books and I constantly do research to learn new skills; I graduated head of my police academy class and went on to become a course instructor for the department; I have spoken at public forums, community meetings and in news interviews – all very well articulated, clear and concise; I’ve put together evidence, facts and leads and helped solve and close cases…I AM BLACK AND I AM INTELLIGENT.

I listen to rap music, I wear baggie jeans and backwards fitteds off duty, and have tattoos all across my body….But why do you profile and stereotype me? – On Thanksgiving I volunteer with Equinox handing out dinners to families in need; Around Xmas time I bought hats, gloves and meal cards with my own money and handed them out – we also prepared hot meals and distributed them down by the City Mission and at a Senior Public Housing Building; I volunteer my own time as a youth mentor for PAL – and I love to visit schools and talk to the kids; I walk up and down these neighborhoods, I live in my community – I CARE ABOUT MY COMMUNITY.

I am a black man

I am a police officer

But I am not Derek Chauvin

And I am not George Floyd

I am ME

I am…

Posted by Sadaka Kedar on Saturday, June 6, 2020

 

I am ME….

I am not like Derek Chauvin

I WILL NEVER treat you like George Floyd

Why do you want to do this to ME

I would NEVER ever wish that upon YOU

And there are many many more just like ME.

Since the definition of a “good cop” has been up for debate by those who truly believe there is no such thing and the meaning of a “good black man” has been criticized by the opposition – LET ME REPHRASE – I am a good BLACK PERSON who swore an OATH and wears a BADGE.

I was born and raised in the City of Albany N.Y. – capital of New York State. My family wasn’t rich but we weren’t dirt poor. But my father and mother were dirt poor – they are both from third world countries (Kenya/Philippines) so we were raised to survive on only what we needed and to be grateful and appreciative of what we have.

But I was young and immature once too. I’ve been in trouble, gotten into fights and had to learn to hold my own in a small city. Growing up, believe it or not, I never had any interest in becoming a police officer – truthfully – I never really cared for cops. But I respected them, even when I felt indifferent (and believe me there were a few times I did).

It was the birth of my first daughter that changed my whole outlook at life. I’m not perfect. Yet I was fortunate enough to learn from my mistakes. At that time I decided it was time to dedicate the rest of my life to serving and protecting the city that never gave up on me.

And now, what was once a career path I had zero interest in, has become something I found out I was extremely good at doing – my calling. Once I embraced empathy and compassion, I became what a cop should be…but everyone must understand and remember – there is a human being – a breathing being of flesh, blood, feeling and emotion – under that uniform.

We spend 8-16 hours a day listening to and solving other people’s problems and then somehow try to suppress all that so we can go home and deal with our own. My life is REAL just likes yours – last year my beloved father passed away from cancer, my mother suffered a severe stroke, my wife gave birth to our baby girl, we haven’t had a raise in years and I became backed up on bills – I HAVE REAL PROBLEMS LIKE THE NEXT MAN.

I wake up a black man every single day of my life. A blue uniform doesn’t prevent the personal injustices I’ve faced in my life. I wear a uniform but I LIVE IN MY SKIN. One can be taken off and the other cannot. But one half of me will never encourage or discourage the other – I CHOOSE PEACE AND UNITY. I understand your frustration – Please understand mine.

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A version of this post originally appeared on Facebook, published with permission.

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