Terrorized, Traumatized and Killed: The Police State’s Deadly Toll on America’s Children
“Mommy, am I gonna die?” — 4-year-old Ava Ellis after being inadvertently shot in the leg by a police officer who was aiming for the girl’s boxer-terrier dog, Patches
“‘Am I going to get shot again.’” — 2-year-old survivor of a police shooting that left his three siblings, ages 1, 4 and 5, with a bullet in the brain, a fractured skull and gun wounds to the face
As family counselor Dorothy Law Nolte wisely observed, “If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn. If children live with hostility, they learn to fight. If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.”
And if children live with terror, trauma and violence — forced to watch helplessly as their loved ones are executed by police officers who shoot first and ask questions later — will they in turn learn to terrorize, traumatize and inflict violence on the world around them?
I’m not willing to risk it. Are you?
It’s difficult enough raising a child in a world ravaged by war, disease, poverty and hate, but when you add the toxic stress of the police state into the mix, it becomes near impossible to protect children from the growing unease that some of the monsters of our age come dressed in government uniforms.
Case in point: in Hugo, Oklahoma, plain clothes police officers opened fire on a pickup truck parked in front of a food bank, heedless of the damage such a hail of bullets — 26 shots were fired — could have on those in the vicinity. Three of the four children inside the parked vehicle were shot: a 4-year-old girl was shot in the head and ended up with a bullet in the brain; a 5-year-old boy received a skull fracture; and a 1-year-old girl had deep cuts on her face from gunfire or shattered window glass. Only the 2-year-old was spared any physical harm, although the terror will likely linger for a long time. “They are terrified to go anywhere or hear anything,” the family attorney said. “The two-year-old keeps asking about ‘Am I going to get shot again.’”
The reason for the use of such excessive force?