Was it one more act in a pattern of racist police violence?
Or was it the tragic outcome of a high pressure mistake?
In a disturbing development in which a young black man was resisting arrest in Minneapolis Sunday afternoon, after a traffic stop/outstanding warrant situation, a veteran white female police officer, yelled “Taser, taser, taser!” She then fired one shot, immediately dropping her weapon, stumbling back, and crying out, “Holy shit. I just shot him.” 20-year-old Daunte Wright would drive away, soon dying from the fatal, single shot.
As with every killing of any other, my heart grieves.
Pres. Biden mirrored a similar response. He, too, had questions…
“The question is was it an accident? Was it intentional? That remains to be determined by a full-blown investigation. I think we’ve got to wait and see what the investigation shows — and the entire investigation,” said the nation’s 46th president.
Was it an accident?
Was it intentional?
Does it matter?
Friends, this situation is indeed grievous. I also find our grieving country, earnestly confused in how to react. People and pundits propose and project all sorts of mandates and emotion. Our collective reaction manifests itself in all sorts of words, actions, emoting. Hence, so many questions…
Do we lament?
Do we shame?
Do we cry out?
Who is the target of our response?
Do we react publicly?
Do we pray?
Can we dictate the behavior of others?
Can we demand some are silenced?
Must all take a definitive stance?
Do I have a limited perspective?
Am I humbly able to ask that question?
Do I know everything?
Is there more than one right way to respond?
Is what’s right for you what’s right for me?
Is there room for varied, prudent reaction?
Is there grace and space for more than one wise reaction to exist?
As we struggle with responding wisely, the best thing I personally know to do in the immediate moment at hand is to weep with those who weep… mourn with those who mourn.
Let my weeping prompt zero pride. Let it not cause me to rush to judgment nor justify other wrongful behavior. Let me lead with compassion. Let only my empathy and humility increase. This is my humble prayer.
Yes, this is hard.