There have been varied reactions to the footage of both Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old man who was shot and killed while police had him pinned down to the ground in Lousiana, and Philando Castile, a 32-year-old man who was shot four times in the chest at a routine traffic stop. One Ohio police officer named Nakia Jones posted a video response that is going viral.
In the video posted to Facebook on Wednesday, Officer Jones is visibly affected by the video footage she saw.
“It bothers me when I hear people say, ‘Y’all police officers this, y’all police officers that.’ They put us in this negative category when I’m saying to myself, ‘I’m not that type of police officer.’ I know officers that are like me that would give their life for other people. So I’m looking at it, and it tore me up because I got to see what you all see. If I wasn’t a police officer and I wasn’t on the inside, I would be saying, ‘Look at this racist stuff. Look at this.’ And it hurt me.”
She explains that she ws inspired to become a police officer because of how she grew up in East Cleveland.
“The reason I became a police officer is to make a difference in people’s lives,” she said. “I know what it’s like to have a parent on drugs. I know what it’s like to watch people be picked on and bullied and all kinds of things. I said I wanted to make a difference and I want to be that change, so I became that change.”
Because of her background, she chose to work in a predominantly Black area, to be the change she wanted to see. This is why she is so upset that White officers are harming the communities they are supposed to serve.
“If you are white and you’re working in a black community and you are racist, you need to be ashamed of yourself,” Jones said in the video. “You stood up there and took an oath. If this is not where you want to work, then you need to take your behind somewhere else.”
While the video is very powerful, it raises questions about how any Black person in this country still has questions about the murders of Black people at the hands of police officers. There have been documented cases like Sean Bell, Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Jonathan Ferrell, John Crawford, Darrien Hunt, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Miriam Carey and so many others whose only crimes were being Black in public when they are shot down by officers. After so many gruesome murders by her comrades, it seems odd that Officer Jones is just now having a response to the brutality and violence.
Overall, it is good to see a police officer speak out about these injustices. There is still so much work to be done.
Photo: YouTube screenshot