Reaves said she trusted the system to do the right thing
I have struggled with myself as to whether I should make any response to all the negative feedback that came from the letters that I wrote this past month.
My main reason for not wanting to respond is because I really did not want anyone to feel in any way that I cared about their lies and negative responses. My opinion of the Soapbox is that it is designed for persons who lie or say things about people and not be known. This is a coward’s choice. What purpose does it serve if no one knows who you are?
In this country everyone has the freedom of speech, so what is the reason for the discretion?
Is it true to say that I wore on a few nerves? Have you heard the sayings, “A hit dog will holler” or “The truth hurts”? I read the comments in the Soapbox, especially the one that stated what the community-minded woman said. How could she possibly know that Officer Kline was riding around the lot to see if the music was within the noise ordinance? So she says she is community-minded. Did she not read in my letter that my son was issued a citation that stated, “upon entering Sprint’s parking lot the music was so loud that it could be heard on all four corners of the parking lot.”
She claims my son stayed in the store, with “hip-hop” music playing, for a long period of time. So again, I ask, why did he wait until he left the parking lot, follow him approximately a half mile to write a citation for loud music when, if he was in the store for a period of time, obviously there was time to give him the citation in the parking lot?
And please tell me what young black male plays, “hip-hop” music?
I prayed long and hard before I wrote the previous letter. Someone asked me after they read it if it had taken me a long time to write it. My response was, no. You see this had been on my heart for a very long time. I had started many times to write the letter and put is aside. I would console my mind with the fact that maybe, with all that has happened, my son has learned valuable lessons—lessons that I had tried to tell him, but his response was always that if he is not doing anything wrong, the police can’t bother him.
Even when Officer Boatwright threatened him, I did not say anything in his presence, because, in actuality he confirmed what I had been telling him all the time. They can and they will, if allowed. It was like saying to him, I told you so.
And though I said nothing in his presence, I did what I thought was right, I talked to Officer Boatwright’s superior, hoping to get the problem solved.
I am in much agreement with the lady (from Ft. Gordon) that sent in the letter a couple of weeks back. We do need police officers and I can even go as far as to say that I can agree that if Officer Boatwright had been at the Apollo Club on the night of the shooting, it probably would not have occurred, because if he were on duty, he would have been there harassing someone. This is the point that I am trying to get across. We need police officers and I want my community free of drugs, thieves, killers and anything else that makes my community unsafe. But my point is, there is a proper way to do the job and it does not take harassing or beating citizens to do it.
The incident with Christopher Walden was the confirmation to my prayers as whether or not I should voice my complaints. As a mother I felt Ms. Walden’s pain, because all I could think is this could have been my son. When I saw his eye and I listened to witnesses tell what happened, it broke me. Enough is enough is all I could think. I can’t even remember how many times I woke up that night crying, got on my knees and prayed.
From the time I have had my children I would get up during the night, go in their bedrooms, get on my knees beside their beds and ask God to put his arms of protection around them. I would even at times, get them up in the middle of the night and make them pray with me. They would be sleepy and upset, but I did not care. When I felt the need, I prayed for them and with them.
But with all said and done, I close with these responses, my Bible tells me in Matthew 5:11, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” So to you who continue to give words of persecution, do remember that I have no ill feelings for you because your words have no merit over God for every word that you say against me, a blessing is added, so to each of you, thanks.
Now within my heart I have always truly felt that the two suspended officers might be reinstated. We all know this is how the system and the world work. But no matter what the GBI concludes, the final say is up to our city officials. The evidence is there.
And for those who try to make it appear racial, please know that it is not. When I wrote the first letter I received a call from a white male who wanted to commend me and my efforts because he, too, had been harassed by Officer Boatwright and told me of another white female who had been harassed on more than one occasion. I had nothing to offer him other than a listening ear and I hoped that just by listening and offering words of sympathy that I had made him feel better because I knew his pain all too well.
Let’s say that these two officers appeared to be within the guidelines of hirable when they were hired.
But since, it has been brought to their attention that Officer Boatwright had some issues at a previous place of employment that resulted in POST requiring special cultural training. This, Chief Miller has admitted he discovered a few months after the hiring. Why wasn’t he fired at this point?
It has been established that Officer Boatwright has had citizen complaints of harassment.
Officer Kline has published on Facebook comments suggesting intentional harassment, talked of beating someone, a statement that he wants to kill others and even talked about his coworkers.
Why would our city officials allow them to work on the Louisville Police Department?
I have said all of this to say I have lived in Louisville all of my life. I have seen and heard things that were wrong, but I have never been concerned or bold enough to make a stand. But at some point, you get fed up. I think it is mainly because I tried to do things the right way. I trusted the system to do right by me, my family and the citizenship of this town.
The city council are elected officials that we voted for and put in these positions. Their major concern should be to do what is best for the citizenship of the entire city. No, they can’t cater to every single person, but when a majority speaks, they should have a listening ear and do what is right.
Proverbs 21:3 simply says, “To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”
I am not writing anything to appear a troublemaker. I want the citizens to feel safe and not threatened. As citizens we must remember that we can’t break the law and get away with it, but on the same token, a human being should not be harassed and beaten.
Ephesians 4:3 tells us to, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” This is all I am seeking.
Michelle Braddy Reeves
Job loss drives people to crime
I would like to tell Mr. Gordy, that if you can’t get any justice from local law enforcement, then it’s time to March. Marching may not get you any closer to getting any justice, but one thing is for sure, local, county, state, and yes, even the feds will, if nothing else, take notice. As for the GBI, you may as well pack up and go home. Why you ask? Because if they’re anything like they were back in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s when I lived in Georgia, they did nothing to help people of color get justice. Nothing!
I’ve been e-mailed and asked to say a few words about what’s happening in Louisville, and to those I’ll say this. I feel your pain, I don’t live there as of yet, but I’ll also say this to your elected officials in Louisville: If you have bad apples on your police force, you need to weed them out. If you don’t, your troubles will continue to get worst. Let me be clear right now, before someone will tell me to butt out. I am not taking one side against the other. I’ll repeat myself. I don’t live there yet and I am not taking one side against the other.
Gordy’s suggestions on feeding the children programs in Wadley scored a thousand with me, and it showed the compassion he has for the children. The sad truth is, not only youth, but adults, when hungry, will turn to crime to fill his or her stomach. But, here’s where he blew it, and went south on me. Referring to something Bill Cosby said a few years ago. His comments were directed to the black community, and yes he did call black absentee fathers on the carpet, but his words can apply also to white absentee fathers as well. One doesn’t have to be a black or white absentee father to commit crimes, because they’re hungry. There are a lot of things that can create the problem, like the loss of a job, and not getting another one. Someone wrote that Thermo-King was leaving in a year or so. Your elected county leaders need to be searching for another company to replace it. Everyone can’t work at a saw-mill.
There are jobs in and around the Houston area, but coming here without a degree, and I’m not talking high school, or GED, is like going shopping without any money. Sadly, and it breaks my heart to say this, but, no jobs, no money coming in, make people who never thought about committing a crime do things they thought they would never have to do to feed their family and to keep a roof over their heads. That’s no excuse for crime, but you have to know it’s coming.
Future Resident of Wadley
America is being dismantled
The recent debt debate, playground food fight, clearly demonstrates that our government, i.e.
the White House and congress, is the most dysfunctional, incompetent, corrupt, clueless
government this side of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has a government composed of largely tribal members who can’t read or write or count past ten fingers. They appear professional compared to our tin-horn, cartoon politicians.
America has reached the tipping point in its leadership crisis. Apparently, the only viable
option is to declare martial law and let the military operate a functional government until a
competent government can be elected in 2012.
America is being methodically dismantled
by our current government and its doubtful if the country can survive another year and a
half of these political yo-yo’s.