The shadow of a bullet

Mother’s Day weekend in May 2000, my life drastically changed. My 20-year-old brother Michael Taylor was shot one time in the abdomen by a rookie Chicago police officer, Nail Majid.

I often wonder if terrorism only exists with planes going into buildings or if terrorism exists from a history of brutality and mistrust that has been entrenched into the culture of a community that has been distanced by individuals who have sworn to protect and serve.

I have always imagined that Mr. Majid is not a bad person or cop, but maybe he lacked cultural competency training, maybe my brother’s shooting death was an isolated incident from one individual, that maybe he was texting during an important portion of training that may have saved my brother’s life and Mr. Majid’s career.

Over a decade has passed, and I have found myself encountering Majids of my own. I have been roughed up by police and profiled based on my hair, the car I drive and the neighborhoods that I frequent.

I realize that in an instant, I could have been Sandra Bland or Mike Brown or even Michael Taylor.

I don’t judge all cops by the choice that Majid made that day, or even the officers who profiled me in the inner city of Chicago. It helps me to realize that America is blinded by the same ignorance that it chooses to be blinded by. The reality is as long as we make the conscious decision to remain divided, injustices will continue to prevail. As a minority in this country, the relationship with the police comes with a harsh history that continues to repeat itself. The only thing that prevented me from becoming the next sequel to a movie such as “Detroit” was I had angels.

Let’s make sure if civil service members such as officers are being sworn in to protect and serve, they are being accountable for upholding their oath.

Food for thought … keeping it real.

Kamara Taylor



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