President’s Blog #12 – Showing Up in Times of Tragedy
April 14, 2021
President’s Blog 12 – Showing Up in Times of Tragedy
Dear NBTS Family,
It is with a broken heart that I write today in reference to the recent shooting of Mr. Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. The fact that Mr. Wright was shot to death by a policewoman just miles from where Mr. George Floyd died from asphyxiation, when a policeman held a knee to his neck for nearly 9 minutes a year ago, is a tragic and bitter pill to ingest.
A friend of mine was asked: “Why did he run?” My friend responded, “He ran out of fear.” Fear and trauma play a role during every traffic stop and altercation between black men and the police. The officer involved in Mr. Wright’s death was a 26-year veteran training officer and former police union leader. Her actions are being described as “fear-full” and traumatic.
But fear and trauma is a complex explanation of this situation and altercation. Police procedures in most of the 18,000 jurisdictions with police departments mandates that the taser be holstered on the opposite side of where you carry your firearm. More importantly, the weight of a fully-loaded Glock (standard police issue) and a taser are light-years in weight difference.
Mr. Wright fled out of fear. The officer traumatized a community and shot a man to death out of a complexity that I am unable to name at this time. The weight of the…
Years of training,
Trial of Mr. Floyd,
Race in America, and
Relationships between the police and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC).
Each weight is heavy and carrying this load is no simple matter.
Law enforcement must have a higher standard of care when engaging the community that it has taken an oath to protect and serve. Hurting protestors must respond to heartbreak and trauma with a higher ethic than retaliatory violence.
There are no easy answers and I offer no knee jerk advice. I am reminded of what Brené Brown once stated, “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think [or do].” I just ask you to keep showing up and being seen until justice emerges as supreme!
In Joy and In Justice!
Micah L. McCreary
President, New Brunswick Theological Seminary
* Victor L. Marsh Sr. helped with the research and framing of the article.