Should former Deputy Michael Davis be Executed? Thoughts from Lonoke County, Arkansas.

Should former Deputy Michael Davis be Executed? Thoughts from Lonoke County, Arkansas. March 15, 2022

 

On July 7, 2016, I organized a rally against police brutality.  For hours, thousands of us marched through the streets of Dallas.  Right before the march was to conclude, I heard shots ring out.  Looking up, I saw bullets slicing through the bodies of multiple police officers.  The perpetrator was a man named Micah Johnson who claimed to be acting on behalf of victims of police brutality.  Before the night was up, five officers were dead.  During the hysteria, I will never forget the woman that declared through tears of joy, “Those officers will never be able to kill our boys again.”  Though I obviously don’t believe in killing folk…or celebrating killing folk…I have never been able to deny the fundamental fact that…right or wrong…killing folk does have consequences…though I work for nonviolent ones…such consequences cannot always be guaranteed.

 

On June 23, 2021 around 3am, Lonoke County, Arkansas Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Davis murdered unarmed 17-year-old Hunter Brittain in a parking lot.  The reason?  Brittain got out of his truck and pulled a container from the back that made Deputy Davis fear for his life.  So…let me get this straight…Brittain is dead because Deputy Davis was afraid of a container?  Not long after, Deputy Davis was fired from the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Department for not turning on his body camera prior to the incident.  So the shooting of an innocent boy was just part of the job?  Yesterday, Deputy Davis’ manslaughter trial commenced.  Though he is facing time if convicted, he will not face the penalty that he gave Hunter Brittian that night.  But what if he did?

 

What if we made it happen?  What if we put Michael Davis in a parking lot?  What if we made Michael Davis hold the same container?  What if we gunned Michael Davis down in a hail of bullets?  What if we were all able to just walk away?

 

While I am sure that there are those here in Arkansas and beyond who would like to take such a path, I’m not interested.  I don’t think it would change anything.  It’s been my experience that you can’t stop killing by killing…only love can do that.  However, those of us who believe in nonviolence can’t hold back the tide forever.  If Michael Davis isn’t convicted and given a substantial sentence…if perpetuators of police brutality keep going unpunished…you can expect more nights like July 7, 2016…more violent reprisals…and you can expect more mommas to be overjoyed that, “those officers can’t kill our boys anymore.”  I hope it doesn’t come to that.

 

God give us your strength…your justice.

 

Amen.

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