Five years ago, the death of Eric Garner opened an old wound and forced this country to look at our collective racial sins in the face.
Two days ago, the fate of the police officer accused of putting Mr. Garner in a choke hold and killing him was decided. Officer Daniel Pantaleo was fired.
I am not a police officer nor am I a person of color, so I cannot write this post from either perspective. As much as I understand a day in the life of a police officer, I get that they are putting their lives in their hands every day that they go to work. I also understand that citizens (especially men) of color are often targeted by police because of their skin color and not because of any crime they may or may not have committed.
Either way, the decision would not have ended well. Someone would have been unhappy. As I see it, the way to move forward is communication and developing open relationships between the police and the community members. The problem is that these steps are often very hard to make. But unless these difficult steps are made, the open wound between the police and communities of color may never heal.