Yesterday I was teaching dance in the park around jeffery manor. We were winding down so as usual I let the kids have free dance time. I put the music on and the kids go wild. Some were having dance battles while others were doing their own thing. I was dancing with them when one of the children in front of me stopped dancing and said “who is he chasing?” I turned around just in time to see an officer in a bulletproof vest run down the alley that runs parallel to the park before turning to go further in. Then I hear a speeding car and look over to my right to see an unmarked car speed past the park and go through the alley.
Myself and the other adults had already gathered the kids to us behind the playground structure before we knew or saw the man the police were chasing. Not knowing where this man would come from or go we wanted all the kids together. The car pops out on street to my left about to speed back past us then comes a screeching stop. Just as I look back to direction the car just came from I see a young man burst around the front the house next to the park. I get really scared when I start to hear and see more cop cars arrive when there are about 50 kids out in this park. And not knowing what this young man will do in an attempt to escape made every decision that much more important. But we had to stay calm for the kids.
He gets caught right in front of our eyes, tasered and wrestled to the ground by about 5 officers. It was hard to see and I tried to get the kids away before they witnessed the police use excessive force. There were a lot of upset adults because it seems like the police tasered the guy for too long. I was just glad that no one was killed. If the police used too much force make a case and sue but at least the man is alive.
I have several thoughts about this exciting event. This young man had a chance to get away. The police had not yet gotten out of the car and he had already outran the one that was chasing him on foot. The only problem with the path to escape was that it was now filled with about 50 children. The young man literally gave up. The situation probably would have escalated very quickly if he had run towards us and I don’t even want to think of the possibility of someone’s child being used as a human shield. Thankfully that man chose not to take that route.
Also, the number of police that arrived on the scene just to catch one man seemed ridiculous. During the rush when all the cars were coming and people were running to the park I was scared at first that these people were coming to back the young man up. There were about 8 cars and a paddywagon. But turned out to be just for one man. What a waste of tax dollars. Then I think about how the residents of the community flooded the area. The spectators that arrived along with the police force so they were probably there for crowd control.
Now did the police use too much force? It’s very possible. But they are human and they want to make it home as well. That’s not even mentioning the presence of kids that they also want to prevent from getting hurt by this possible dangerous person. The presence of the kids probably saved this young man’s life. With that many innocent eyes looking, not many would be willing to kill a man. I just wished things like this didn’t need to happen.