My elderly dad and I were waiting to see his doctor several years ago. A young, white guy sitting next to us started to speak to us.
He asked if we remembered him. We said no.
Our answer wasn't based on any disregard we may have had for the young man. We said no because he was all bandaged up. There was no way we could see who this guy was.
So he told us.
He did some plumbing work for my dad a few years earlier. He even told us the name and location of the plumbing company, which was located in Hollywood, Fl.
Ok, hello, we replied. What happened to you? Why are you here?
Hollywood police officers almost beat him to death, the young, white plumber said. He gave us details, which I won't recount because I have no way to verify the information.
But it was clear to me that he had been, and continued to be, in medical distress. These assumptions were obvious to just about anyone because of the bandages and tape that covered a lot of his body.
The young plumber was waiting to see his doctor after spending time in the hospital. He added that he was near death for days before his friends and family learned his whereabouts.
I refuse to pass judgment on the Hollywood Police Department in connection with this incident because I only have one side of the story. But something the guy said rang true to me -- besides the fact that he was still in bad shape.
I have read and heard stories about people in our country being beaten or killed by police. The human reaction, I think, is for government agents to notify family and/or friends immediately.
Sometimes, though, folk get the runaround, or don't receive any notification for days. The assertion from the plumber conforms with stories I sometimes see in our mainstream media.
What the young man told me, in light of recent events, makes me want more context from reporters who are covering the explosive reaction to the murder of George Floyd.
The protestors -- black and white, young and old -- say we need to form a more perfect union by fighting racism that is personal, structural and institutional.
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