Still Rioting In My Head; Baltimore I Feel You
It was almost a year ago, and I only began to remember how the night really went once my attorney brought the video surveillance tape to my house to review it with me. I honestly think that it was asking a bit much of me to remember much of the moment, but I can tell you that eventhough my head was leaking with blood and my scull was cracked, I could hear my moms screaming "Marcuuuussss!"
"Ma! I'm alive...I'm alive!!" Maybe it was because she just watched this officer draw from his hip, me turn to run, him aim, a burst of light come out, and me freeze and fall.
It wasn't my first time in handcuffs, but it definitely felt different this time. It was a Gospel Skate Night and my entire church, cousins, nieces and nephews were feet away from me. I sat on the concrete and couldn't believe that the one person that fights every day of his life to keep people away from jail fell into a undescribable nightmare.
If I tried hard enough I could probably repaint the picture of key moments that completely changed my life...again!
Andrea and Marcus Jr. just left the skating rink, as we drove seperate cars this night. It was the day before my mom's birthday and Drea grew tired of the droves of children that kept knocking her down around the rink. I decided to chill with my nieces and nephews a little longer, as I kissed her and MJ so that they could get home and get bathtime started. I could tell that Ma was excited that I stayed a little longer, as she is definitely that type that LOVES when her children and grandchildren are around. It was the perfect family night.
"No, you can't do that to her!!!!" my mom starts screaming, as I turn around and notice a police officer arguing and pulling on a pregnant woman. Its crazy how the first thing that we all do is pull out a smartphone, as its a universal language to automatically capture anything remotely foul. My phone would not get into "Video" mode fast enough, as the arguing between this officer and the woman intensified. More onlookers gathered around screaming at this clear abuse of power as the officer snatches and tugs on the woman. I probably should have stayed in the corner, according to the charging documents that followed the day after when the police barged into my home with guns drawn and the arrest warrant.
When the officer started swinging at this Black pregnant woman I reacted and began to "create some space" between the officer and her. Within 36 seconds the video shows my ease of "space separation" , as well as the officer retaliating for my audacity of interferring with him beating this woman down. Somehow I ended up outside with my crying and screaming mother, and the crowd of witnesses see me get shot in the back of the head with a taser, my body freezing in 10 seconds of paralysis, and then falling face first into the hot and broken concrete pavement.
Police have been doing what they want to so many of us for years, and while I celebrate that my shots were from a taser gun and not a 9mm, there are too many stories like mine that ended so much worse.
My sister told me that she hated to see these lil youngins tearing down their own neighborhoods in Baltimore, and I told her that eventhough I hate to see it too, I get it. In fact, I asked her, "That night that everybody cried and screamed as they handcuffed me to a bed in the hospital, wondering how the police could get away with that...what if I would have gotten shot and died instead of tased? Would you have set it off on the police, or would you have asked for "peaceful protest as we wait for the Judicial system to figure it out?"
"Mannnn, I would've burned the whole city down!!", she says.
These youngins in Baltimore are tired and they are smart enough to know that they have to create their own voice. I can tell you one thing, Baltimore has never been the center of America's attention, as much as it is now. The fight is getting stronger, and this city will forever remember this moment of revolt as they repair themselves. Maybe that's my anger writing, but my permanent scars on my forehead at the hands of an officer whom never even received a reprimand gives me a pardon.