As we enter into the third consecutive week of protests—some peaceful, some violent—voices across the country and around the world are speaking up against police brutality, racism, and systematic injustices carried out against black people. The protests, which first started in response to the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, have stirred up a new wave of support for black lives.
While our media is flooded with images and footage of the uprising that’s taking place across the nation, one poignant video is making headlines this week after a 5-year-old girl asked a police officer if he was “going to shoot her.”
The little girl, Simone Bartee, was attending a protest with her parents in Houston last week when one of the police officers on scene noticed her crying.
That’s when she asked him, “Are you going to shoot us?”
During the protest in Houston yesterday one of the police officers noticed my daughter crying. She asked him “Are you gonna shoot us” he got down on one knee wrapped his arm around her and responded: pic.twitter.com/gQWF7HMf3l
— SimeonB 🦉 (@iamsimeonb) June 3, 2020
Out of the mouths of babes, friends.
According to her dad, Simeon Bartee, the police officer then knelt down beside Simone, wrapped his arm around her and responded:
“We’re here to protect you, okay? We’re not here to hurt you at all. You can protest, you can party, you can do whatever you want – just don’t break nothing.”
Simone can be seen nodding as she hears the officer’s words.
It’s a message that has struck a cord with people across Twitter because much like the protests themselves, it was met with mixed emotions.
Many commenters questioned why this little girl was at the protest at all, or accused the parents of influencing her fear of police officers.
But friends, for too many black children, fear of the police, and experiencing tangible racism starts extremely young. Kids are smart, they pick up on things quick. And whether or not you agree with how someone on social media appears to be parenting their black child, these hard conversations are the ones that HAVE to be had.
That police officer is a reminder amidst the chaos this week that there ARE still good cops. And more than that, Simone now has a perspective that I would argue will stay with her the rest of her life. She experienced compassion from a police officer. There are a lot of black children who unfortunately cannot say the same.
Please join us in praying for healing. Pray for our nation, our brothers and sisters, and that our own hearts would be open and willing to “un-learn” the prejudices we’ve so naturally been taught.