The boy was playing basketball when he saw the Police cruiser drive by. He stopped playing and waited for the car to pass.
Trigger warning: Race-motivated violence, Police Brutality
A heartbroken father shared a video of his son, a 10-year-old, hiding behind a car as a police cruiser drives by. It further emphasizes the fear the cops have instilled in the fear of the black community. The video was shared on Instagram by the boy's father Stacey Pierre-Louis and shows the boy shooting hoops and noticing the police card driving up the road. He immediately stops playing and hides behind a jeep, waiting for the police cruiser to pass by before returning to play basketball. The video amidst the Black Lives Matter protests that have broken out in all fifty states of America, after George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed by a white Minneapolis cop while being filmed.
The young boy in the video is Eliah Pierre-Louis and hails from Trumbull, Connecticut. Eliah's father Stacey Pierre-Louis was at work when the incident happened but caught the incident on his security system's camera feed. He was shaken by his son's reaction and decided to share it after much thought. "Debated with myself for a few days before deciding to post this. I was at work watching my son shoot hoops in the driveway when I caught this. It floored me," wrote Pierre-Louis. He added that despite living in an affluent neighborhood, his son still flinched at seeing the cops. It's no secret that cops are target more black people and a majority of the community don't live in affluent neighborhoods with the white people having cornered the resources through the years.
"I’ll save the dramatics, but growing up black or brown most of the time means fearing the police vs looking up to them. I live in an affluent neighborhood in Trumbull with a really good school system," said Stacey Pierre-Louis. "This kid has all the opportunity to do/be whatever he wants unlike many kids who look like him because resources aren’t made available. Why does he feel like he has to hide when he isn’t doing anything wrong?"
He decided to ask his son about the incident and address the issue at hand. "I asked him why he did that when he got home. He replied; 'because they killed George Floyd.' Stunned, I replied; 'ok kiddo.' I didn’t know what and still don’t know what to say to him to make it better. A manager at my job told me to tell him that doing what he did is ridiculous and that I should teach him not to be fearful of police. Deep down I don’t know if it’s true, maybe staying out of the way is best." While most black parents teach their children to not resist or talk back to the cops, Stacey Pierre-Louis insists he hasn't instilled his son with the fear of cops. "He didn’t learn this behavior at home. We stream movies so he doesn’t see the news and we don’t talk negatively about the police."
The video went viral online highlighting the issue the protestors have been vocal about. Basketball star LeBron James shared the video and said it broke his heart to watch a black boy hide from the police. It also brought to memory the time a 12-year-old black boy was shot and killed by cops. Tamir Rice was throwing snowballs and playing with a toy pellet gun in a Cleveland park when a police car passed by the area. Police officer Timothy Loehmann shot the 12-year-old within two seconds of stepping out of the car. He was later fired, reported Vox.
I just found out that Tamir Rice was supposed to graduate this year. His whole life was stolen from him. The officers who murdered that 12 year old boy 2 seconds after they arrived on the scene were never charged with a crime. No justice. No peace. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/GrgLGWbSGZ— Ben O'Keefe (@benjaminokeefe) June 16, 2020
Stacey Pierre-Louis shared the video with the hope of instigating change. "Since I've shared this video, I've been overwhelmed with support which leads me to believe that there is far more good in this world than there is bad," said Pierre-Louis, reported CBS News. "So it is our hope that this video can be used as a tool to help continue to bring us together in this fight and inspire change for the better." Pierre-Louis said he felt helpless watching the video. "But unfortunately this is the reality for millions of Black and minority children across this nation and the world," added Pierre-Louis. "As many parents are doing, I can only continue to educate and prepare my son with the truth and arm him with the tools to continue to create change. It's my hope that when he becomes a man, he'll then be able to do the same for his family."