Two Heartbreaking Viral Videos Show Black Children Frightened By The Sight Of Police
These are painful to watch.
June 17, 2020 at 2:44 pm
Two recent videos of Black children coming into contact with police have struck a chord with many people who said they both illustrate the fear that is ingrained in Black children from an early age.
The first video was shared on social media before being picked up by Good Morning America.
According to GMA, the child, 5-year-old Simone, was with her mother and father at a protest in Houston on June 2.
She began to cry when she saw so many police officers standing around the peaceful protest. According to Simeon Bartee, Simone's father, a police officer saw her crying and put his arms around her.
The little girl asked the unidentified officer, "Are they going to shoot us?"
"We are here to protect you, we are not here to hurt you at all. You can protest, you can march, you can do whatever you want — just don’t break nothing," the officer said to Simone.
While the gesture was widely seen as kind, others saw it as one of many examples of the terror Black children feel from an early age when they see police officers.
Many people shared the video without realizing the fear Simone was feeling came from a police brutality incident her family has faced.
Simeon told GMA that his own brother, Jerome Bartee, currently has a pending civil case against Harris County Jail in which he states five officers broke his nose and shattered bones around his eye socket.
The case made waves in 2017 because the officers did so much damage to Jerome's face and eye socket that doctors had to put in a metal plate, according to local news outlet KTRK.
Jerome was left with facial nerve damage, and the sight in his left eye is permanently damaged, KTRK reported. In 2017, Houston Public Media reported a grand jury indicted five officers, charging four of them with felonies and one with a misdemeanor. News reports about how the cases ended are scant, but Simeon told GMA last week that he was thankful to the officer for speaking to his child.
“We have dealt with a lot of pain from that and it's kind of gone full circle for me now. I just want to tell the officer thank you for giving me a different perspective on what police officers, the good police officers, are like,” he told GMA.
A separate video that has gained traction in recent days shows 10-year-old Eliah playing basketball alone in his driveway in Connecticut. He spots a police vehicle approaching and immediately hides behind a car until the police car passes by.
Stacey Pierre-Louis, the young boy's father, shared the video on Instagram and questioned why his son would be afraid of the police even though he isn't causing trouble.
"I live in an affluent neighborhood in Trumbull with a really good school system. This kid has all the opportunity to do/be whatever he wants unlike many kids who look like him because resources aren't made available. Why does he feel like he has to hide when he isn't doing anything wrong?" he wrote in the post.
When Pierre-Louis saw the video and asked his son why he hid, Eliah said, "because they killed George Floyd."
"I didn't know what and still don't know what to say to him to make it better," he added.
Breaks my Heart!! ???????????????????? https://t.co/wKLDonZ9sC
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 16, 2020
"But unfortunately this is the reality for millions of Black and minority children across this nation and the world. My priority as a parent and family man is to protect my son and children from the atrocities and injustices of the world and provide them with the tools to be whole, productive and fearless contributing members of the world," he said.
"Unfortunately, in the state of times and for reasons we all see daily, it makes it difficult. But as many parents are doing, I can only continue to educate and prepare my son with the truth and arm him with the tools to continue to create change. It's my hope that when he becomes a man, he'll then be able to do the same for his family," Pierre-Louis added.