Patrick Lyoya, a Lansing resident, was shot by a Grand Rapids police officer on April 4, 2022.
When body and dash camera footage were released, I was at the Lansing Police Operations Center. An officer invited me to watch the press conference and initial video release. We watched in silence and shared mixed emotions. Hearing the officer's opinion of the shooting was helpful.
A blog reader reached out to ask my perspective and is allowing publication of our exchanges. In sharing the emails, I hope to:
- harness the reader's timely inquiry for the benefit of other readers;
- recognize that one raised and questioning hand represents many;
- highlight the Holy Spirit's work.
1-First, one very specific question is: Would you like me to mail you the Times print article, which I still have?
2-How is the movement to reduce traffic stops or make them for fewer reasons received by police folk you work with? Do they tend to resent it as interference, or would they welcome fewer traffic stops? (Especially since they are also at risk from the unknown in these stops.)
3-When you hear of yet another instance of a Black man, usually a young Black man, being shot when a traffic stop escalates, how do you find yourself responding emotionally? How do you deal with that feeling if police officers you work with seem not to "get it" about the problem and its impact?
4-More generally, what sustains or renews you when you deal with white folk in the department who just don't seem to understand the complaints and fears of many in the Black community?
How do you respond when what seem like insensitive comments are made? (And perhaps they aren't made, or not very often--my assumption may be off base.)
- Wise: When feedback is given, the wise listen, take it in and adjust their behavior accordingly.
- Foolish: When given feedback, the fool is defensive and immediately comes back with a reason why fault lies elsewhere. Henry Cloud prescribes, "So stop talking." Another way to stop talking is to invite the speaker to "Say more."
- Evil: When given feedback, the evil is offensive, requiring listeners to go into protective modes. Henry Cloud prescribes "Lawyers, Guns and Money" for evil people. Lawyers are intermediaries, guns are protectors and money is a barrier Cloud says. They keep evil / offensive people away.