“Just ‘Round the Bend!”

the bend

It’s Monday, All. Another day in our lives . . . Feeling grateful, for more reasons than one.

First of all, I’m still around to tell my story. Keep in mind, that you can let me know at anytime … that you would like to be removed from my list of Educational Excellence’s e-mail family. It’s okay, I’ll be alright … I just want you each to be okay, too!

So, I tell my story often enough that you may remember some of the details. I have been racially profiled here in South Florida many times … just for being me – tall, dark and handsome!! LOL! As well, you might know that I usually like to carry myself a certain way, dressed well and well groomed, and can carry a conversation with the best … and the worst … of “them”! There was a recent suspicious death not far from where I live of a 39 year old African American male, Calvon Reid. After his father who lives in South Carolina was contacted by the Coconut Creek (FL) Police Dept. Chief and told that his son had died from a cardiac arrest, the formerly “unpublicized” story was uncovered by a local news reporter.

It all began a few weeks ago when an elderly couple at a quiet retirement community, just blocks from where I live and pass when I drive on my way to work, encountered Reid behind a wall at the entrance of the community bleeding from unknown injuries. He was asking for help. It was 5:30am on a Monday morning a few weeks back. When paramedics arrived, Reid refused treatment. The Coconut Creek Police dispatched 4 officers and when they encountered Reid, he seemed troubled, tried to run off refusing help from them, too. The officers attempted to take him into custody and he refused to cooperate. They began tasing him, one after another after another, until three officers had their tasers drawn. Two officers got the handcuffs onto Reid and he tried to run. Immediately, the officers once again began tasing him until he fell to the ground at the Wynmoor Retirement Community’s entrance. Onlookers and the elderly couple said that Reid kept telling the police that he couldn’t breathe. Calvon Reid, who has been reportedly arrested previously on drug related charges, died two days later, in secret, at the Coconut Creek Police Station.

Here is where the plot thickens. The police never reported the incident to newspapers or the public, which, they should have since they are public servants. Once a reporter got involved as he tried to help Reid’s father, an investigation into the taser training for officers at Coconut Creek Police Department were found to be NOT updated! In fact, 24 hours before the police chief, who also resigned after the incident was uncovered, spoke to the “public” about the tasing death of Calvon Reid, he himself had taken the refresher course for proper taser use!!! As it turned out, the three to four officers who were dispatched to the scene were ALSO not recently trained in proper taser use either! Bystanders at the retirement community were asked what they thought of the incident. They responded, “I don’t understand why they kept tasing him. He was already in handcuffs!!” Reid’s father is seeking more answers to this situation that happened just ’round the bend from here.

Do what you can to avoid conflict. Make your intentions good ones and make them well known. What I have found over the years is that the better you carry yourself, the less opportunity “others” may have to profile you! That’s my take on it … just for today!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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