If you've been following the news lately, then you've surely heard of the cases in which young black males have been killed by police officers. The resulting Black Lives Matter movement has been widespread. But one police officer didn't know how widespread the fear was until he pulled over a young black man one day.
"In which he replied, with his voice still shaking, "Do you want me to get out of the car."
I said, 'No, I don't want you to text and drive. I don't want you to get in a wreck. I want your mom to always have her baby boy. I want you to grow up and be somebody. I don't even want to write you a ticket. Just please pay attention, and put the phone down. I just don't want you to get hurt.'"
I truly don't even care who's fault it is that young man was so scared to have a police officer at his window. Blame the media, blame bad cops, blame protestors, or Colin Kaepernick if you want. It doesn't matter to me who's to blame. I just wish somebody would fix it."
Seeing the overwhelming response to his initial post, Lieutenant McMillan again posted on Facebook. His second message began with the following.
"The last couple of days have been a roller coaster of emotion. I've hurt for those I care about in their time of unimaginable pain. I've been overwhelmed with the joy at being able to help a scared little kid get to his Mom, when he needed her.
Then this morning, I felt frustration and sadness at seeing a young African American kid be terrified of the uniform I was wearing. It bothered me so much, I wanted to just scream at the whole country "STOP IT! I LOVE MY KIDS WITH ALLOF MY HEART AND EVERYONE IN THIS WORLD IS SOMEONES CHILD THAT THEY LOVE WITH ALL THEIR HEART! Just treat everyone like you would want your children treated, NO MATTER what the situation is."
"I posted a status on Facebook about that very sadness this morning, and went to bed. I woke-up to discovered my status had been shared almost 2000 times (so far). All over the country! People, of all races, genders, and backgrounds were commenting, and messaging me. Everyone was thanking me for what I had said, that it so many people just wanted to hear someone say "IT'S HORRIBLE FOR PEOPLE TO BE AFRAID OF THE POLICE, and I don't even care who's at fault. It's just horrible!" I had over 100 friends request from people all over the country. And now, I don't even know what to say. I'm not anyone special. I'm not a professional athlete, politician, or celebrity. I'm just a regular guy, who lives paycheck to paycheck, who is so blessed to have an amazing wife and some incredible children I love with all of my heart. I'm lucky to have amazing friends, mentors, and family members in my life. Again, I don't even know what to say. I'm just a regular person, no better than anyone else. To think that just saying how the situation in this country hurt me from a view on the front lines, could have such meaning to so many people, is so touching, I don't know how to put it in words."
So why did Lieutenant McMillon's post go viral so quickly? Perhaps it was because he shared a message that we all needed to hear. He reminded us that the police truly do care about our safety, and he let us view a personal side of a police officer that we rarely get to see.
Lieutenant McMillon noted that he doesn't know what the solution is to the fear that people feel. None of us should have to live in fear of the police. While we may have the solution right now, this is clearly something that we need to work on.