Selected Excerpts

Selected Excerpts From Home Alive

Start Saving Lives Now!

“Let us do everything in our power to bring him our children home alive. Yes, the primary objective of this book is to save lives. The book’s approach is to foster understanding in our young loved ones that will greatly diminish the likelihood that they will be hurt or killed when they engage with the police. Most important, these are recommendations you can start using right now. There is no reason for any of you to endure the pain of an untimely death or the severe injury of a loved one… Americans are dying at the hands of police daily. With this book, I am attempting to perform the same function I would perform as an ER doctor during any public health crisis: make the transfusion, get the patient breathing, slow the hemorrhaging , stop the spread of infection, now, immediately, using the means most readily available to me.”

The Role Of An ER Doctor

“As a community, including police officers, we have to learn to enter each situation with an objective mind to see beyond the biases superimposed by our past experiences. I wrote this book, in part, based on my experience as an emergency medicine physician. My job is the acute management and stabilization of any patients who present to the emergency department. As such, I am not only a witness of history, but I’m a participant, as well. I am an observer of sins. I am a viewer of the good, the bad, and the ugly of humanity. I am a person who fills the void when the toll of unfortunate circumstance or just plain bad luck manifests in your life or the life of a loved one. I am that person who searches through a patient’s belongings looking for a next of kin to contact. I am the person who makes the phone call and lets you know the person you kissed in the morning and expected to see in the evening has had something very bad happen to them. For the past 20 years, my occupation has allowed me the privilege to witness our collective human experience from many different perspectives. I have had the opportunity to see the best and the worst of people. Through it all, my goal has been to save lives.”

Arming Our Youth With Rules

“Our communities are facing an ever-growing threat: the rapid increase in documented negative interactions, sometimes resulting in death, between the police and our youth. My goal in writing this book is not to cast aspersions or blame. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Regardless of your own personal leaning or ideology regarding the rise of citizen deaths at the hands of the police, it is my intention to provide you with the most effective life-saving strategies to maximize the likelihood that you and your loved ones will make it home alive and unharmed after interacting with the police. I have a son, several nephews, and many other young loved ones. It is my goal to arm our youth with critical rules that, when applied, will save their lives before, during, and after their interface with the police.”

Be On Your Sunday Best

“If there is any time to have on your Sunday best, it is during your encounter with the police. Sunday best means that you are formal, kind, friendly, and accommodating as you can be. It does not matter if you are 9, 19, or 29. When dealing with the police, it is best and safest to be humble, respectful, deferential, and as courteous as possible.”

Don’t Stare At A Cop

“We have always been taught the eyes are a window to our soul. I agree. But it depends on who is viewing the window. An officer who is hard-hearted, callous, or indifferent may interpret your respectful look in their eyes as confrontational. And then again, some officers may just start off the encounter afraid and this be more prone to interpret innocent looks negatively. Why leave how you look at an officer open to interpretation? History suggests that a youth’s respectful and professional look into the eyes of an officer is too often interpreted unfavorably. Look away.”

Be A Hero

“Preparing your family takes the sting out of the need for you to defend your ego and status within the family at the moment of the encounter with the police. What you have basically told them is, “Hey, an unreasonable police officer may speak to me disrespectfully, but I am going to be the bigger and stronger person and let it go for the time being.” You will have already explained that you are being strategic, not weak. You are showing your power by allowing the officer to think that you are accepting his/her poor behavior. You are simply doing what is required to make it home alive and safe… Superheroes have unusual mental, emotional, and physical strength. You must show the very supernatural powers that your family and loved ones have bestowed on you. Be strong and stay quiet and calm. Have tough and robust emotional depth such that even taunts don’t bother you. The officer may seek to demean or humiliate you. But you, as a superhero, are expected and must absorb the injustice in the name of staying alive.”

Black & White Disparities

“Black males and the police have historically had a turbulent and deadly past that dates back to slavery and the days of Jim Crow, when a Ku Klux Klan member and a police officer may have been one in the same. It was the police committing violent crimes against the blacks. Variations of discontent, disconnect, and racial violence exist in America today. Studies show that black males are suspended from school at higher rates than whites for similar infractions. The justice system has consistently given black males longer and stiffer sentences than their white peers for the same crimes. Blacks are paid less than their white counterparts for doing the same job with the same qualifications. Blacks have higher mortality rates (Frank Sloan, 2010). These are just a few of the glaring disparities, and the data does not show significant improvement.”