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Good Morning Pioneer Baptist!

“She's a f***ing kid, man! Damn, are you stupid?" a man standing nearby replies. She was just a kid, man”

That’s a quote taken from NPR and written by Bill Chappell, a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C., referring to the events in the police shooting of Ma'Khia Bryant, a 16-year (or 15) old Black girl in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday afternoon. Funeral services for Ma'Khia Bryant are no doubt being planned.


I’m not privy to details about this tragedy, but police, in the interest of transparency and surely in light of where we are in the country regarding police shootings of Black citizens, released video of the confrontation. Before I read Bill Chappell’s quote, I thought I heard on the video after the shooting a man shouting, “She was just a kid, man!” And there appeared to be several people standing around expressing considerable outrage at the policeman. LeBron (no need to mention his last name as everyone knows who Lebron is) was upset as well, tweeting a picture of the police officer who did the shooting with the caption “You’re next.” The 16-year-old appeared to be of fairly good size, and may well have been stronger than many 75-year-olds. She flattened one girl, sending her flying backwards with her head landing on the grass while barely missing the sidewalk in that residential setting, and then with knife in hand, Ma'Khia went after another girl, grabbing hold and appearing to be on the verge of using the knife. That’s when the officer shot.


I repeat once again, it’s all tragic. But back to the man who made the “kid” reference. I wondered why none of the onlookers had intervened. If Ma'Khia was “just a kid” why didn’t “some of the adults” take charge of the situation and break up the altercation? Then, somewhat to my shock, the police video showed the man who I believe was the one who had referred to Ma'Khia as “just a kid” running over to the grounded girl of the first part and launching a vicious field goal type kick of his leg toward the area of her head. (Really?) And then, he verbally expressed his outrage at the police officer’s handling of the situation.


“Do nothing to solve the problem, become a ridiculous part of the problem, and then blame the police for the solution.” I have no idea what led to the confrontation between and among the girls, or why the adult was a part of what he called a “kid’s” problem, but I do know that it’s easy to blame the cops. When LeBron or anyone demands accountability, we might assign some of that accountability to the person wielding the knife, and then maybe a little bit of that to those adults who are first standing around, and then astoundingly kicking a girl to the head area when she is down, and then having the gall to express their indignation at the actions of a peace officer. There will be an investigation, and that’s a good thing, but it’s a multi-faceted tragedy, with plenty of Lebron’s accountability to go around. Why don’t we try telling each other that violence begets violence?


“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” (Martin Luther King)

P.S.

I just want to add one quick thing this morning.

One of the keys in the tragedies we are seeing, whether it be Ferguson, or Minneapolis, Chicago, or Columbus, is that when law enforcement officials arrive at a scene, their commands and authority are too often completely disregarded.

Love to all,


Pastor

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