By Renée Zitzloff and co. (including some of the children of Ephesus school)
On the day of his death unarmed tax payer Michael Brown and friend Dorian Johnson were walking in the street heading home. Suddenly their employee police officer Darren Wilson pulled up in his car accosting them with these words, “Get the f__k on the sidewalk!” Moments later Michael Brown’s death ensued when Wilson shot him at least six times, including two times in the head and at least once in the back. Dorian Johnson was witness to it all.
Could Wilson have greeted the young men that day with different words? Yes. Could he have used words that were more courteous and less provocative? Yes. Had he ever learned or was he trained to understand that words can be just as important or sometimes more important then actions? Did he know that words can create death?
In service to the men and women police officers we’ve hired to protect and serve us and our children, I’ve polled a number of people to come up with a list of at least 25 things a police officer can say to one of his or her employers instead of “Get the f___k on the sidewalk!” Some of my favorites are the ones children came up with, see if you can spot them. And hey, this list is not exhaustive, so feel free to come up with your own greetings as long as they are courteous and respectful. Be sure to print this and take it to your local police station or offer it to each and every police officer you meet in the spirit of serving their (possible) needs.
1. Beautiful day, gentlemen please look out not to be the in the way of traffic.
2. Hi guys, how are you?
3. It’s a parade!
4. Hi guys, I’d like to drive on the sidewalk but I can’t quite fit.
5. Excuse me, police have just been called to the area. Have you seen or heard anything unusual today?”
6. Can I help you sir?
7. My name is Officer Darren Wilson. My job is to help ensure the peace and security of this area – all the people who live here. Do you young men live in this area? I figure that by giving you my name and by your knowing me, I can better do my job.
8. Hi Mike, how are you?
9. Gentleman, would you pick a lane? How about the sidewalk?
10. Gentleman it’s a pleasure to serve you. How can I be of assistance today?
11. Hi guys, my favorite flower is the tempestuous rose. What’s yours?
12. Hi guys, I’m working on my racist attitude and beliefs. I’d like to understand more about what its like to be black in this country.
13. Would you please get out of the street because its dangerous?
14. Would you mind walking on the sidewalk today?
15. Kids shouldn’t walk on the street, its dangerous.
16. Wanna be my friend?
17. D.W. “Knock knock.” Michael “Who’s there?” D.W. “Cow.” Michael “Cow who?” D. W. “Cows don’t say who, they say moo!”
19. ‘Sup bro?
20. Hi guys when would you be able to come to dinner at my house?
21. I’ve come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.
25. I’d like police officers to speak to me the way they might speak to their mother or father, sister or brother. I’d like them to be respectful.
* * *