Dispatcher: Attention all units, there has been a robbery committed on 55th and Grace Lane, be advised: suspect is a black male, dark sweater, and blue jeans. Hgt. 5-10 to 6 feet, estimated weight at 175-200 lbs. Between the ages of 18- and 25. Proceed with caution, suspect may be armed and dangerous. I repeat suspect may be armed and dangerous.
Armed and dangerous, this profile is an unintended consequence of my actions. This lie, this excuse, this reason, I selfishly have given to overzealous officers to use in their abuse of authority. Because you ﬁt my profile, they have a ready-made alibi to use in their defense. I sincerely apologize to every mother and father, to every wife and child who has lost someone who resembles me. Because his demeanor and attitude towards the world matched my own; his clothing and style were like mine, and I was not one to emulate. I apologize for giving the system a profile, a lie, a reason to hide behind while they unjustly demonstrate the power of prejudiced justice. I apologize for giving them a reason to fear the innocent black man.
“Wait Enoch, their deaths aren’t your responsibility.”
Pause: hold up, you telling me that as a black man, my actions that have been emulated by your fathers, brothers, and sons aren’t my responsibility? Are you trying to tell me that my aggressive demeanor and negative attitude that I constantly displayed isn’t my responsibility? That hurting people, running the streets aiming at unlawful goals, living lost, giving others license to follow in my footsteps isn’t my responsibility? That’s bull and you know it! If I won a Nobel Peace Prize, you’d want me to take credit. If I saved a life, delivered a child, became someone’s positive role model, you’d say it was my doing, my actions, and my responsibility. Now that I voice my guilt, my remorse for the unintended consequences of my actions, you say I hold no claim for these crimes? Wake up! I am not taking responsibility for the injustices that have been dealt to my brothers, for the police brutality of an innocent person, or for the actions of officers acting off of the “fear” that I instilled into their psyche of the “aggressive armed and dangerous black man.” I am being accountable for demonstrating a negative proﬁle in this unjust society. I am seeking forgiveness for further enmeshing our culture in violence and confusion, for glamorizing the “street” life. I am taking responsibility for being armed and dangerous, so that this excuse could be used as an alibi for the senseless murders of unarmed men and boys. This profile that I have lived in is a lie; therefore the excuse that is used is also a lie. I realize that I once blindly followed in someone else’s footsteps, and by the grace of God I ended up in prison with a chance to right my wrongs, instead of dead. Now I see those who followed in my footsteps, the unfortunates who are being killed due to the profile I unconsciously created. And for this I apologize, for once taking part in senseless crimes, for endangering the innocent because they resemble me. I am taking responsibility for justifying a lie. For giving a reason, an alibi for social injustice. It was not just the officers’ hate, fear, bias or prejudice that played a part in the deaths and brutality of so many. It was also the profile that my peers and I created, and for this I sincerely apologize.
To the families of:
Rumain Brisbon, 34. Phoenix. Ariz. – Dec. 2, 2014.
Tamir Rice, 12. Cleveland, Ohio – Nov. 22, 2014.
Akai Gurley, 28. Brooklyn, NY – Nov. 20, 2014.
Kajieme Powell. 25. St. Louis. Moe – August 19, 2014.
Ezell Ford, 25. Los Angeles, Calif. – August 12, 2014.
Dante Parker, 36. San Bernardino County. Calif. – August 12, 2014.
Tyree Woodson. 38. Baltimore, Md. – August 2, 2014.
Eric Garner, 43. New York, N.Y. – July 17, 2014.
Victor White III, 22. Iberia Parish, La. – March 22, 2014.
Yvette Smith. 47. Bastrop, Texas – February 16, 2014.
McKenzie Cochran, 25. Southﬁeld, Mich – January 28, 2014.
Jordan Baker, 26. Houston, Texas – January 16, 2014.
Andy Lopez, 13. Santa Rosa, Cant – October 22, 2013.
Jonathan Ferrell, 24. Bradﬁeld Farms. N.C. – September 14, 2013.
Carlos Alcis, 43. New York, N.Y. – August 15, 2013.
Larry Eugene Jackson, Jr., 32. Austin, Texas – July 26, 2013.
Deion Fludd, 17. New York. N.Y. – May 5, 2013.
Johnnie Kamahi Warren, 43. Dotham, Ala – December 10, 2012.
Melissa Williams, 30. and Timothy Russell, 43. Cleveland, Ohio – November 29, 2012.
Reynaldo Cuevas, 20., New York, N.Y. – September 7, 2012.
Chavis Carter, 21. Jonesboro, Ark – July 29, 2012.
Sharmel Edwards, 49. Las Vegas, Nev. – April 21, 2012.
Tamon Robinson. 27. New York. N.Y. – April 18, 2012.
Ervin Jefferson, 18, Atlanta. Ga. – March 24, 2012.
Kendrec McDade, 19. Pasadena, Calif. – March 24, 2012.
Rekia Boyd, 22. Chicago, IIl. – March 21, 2012.
Wendell Allen, 20. New Orleans, La. – March 7, 2012.
Nehemiah Dillard, 29. Gainesville, Fla – March 5, 2012.
Dante Price, 25. Dayton, Ohio – March 1, 2012.
Jean Botham, 26. Dallas – 2016
Stephon Clark, 22. Sacramento – 2018
Breonna Taylor, 26. Louisville – 2020
George Floyd, 46. Minneapolis – 2020
Please accept these apologies.
If there is someone you would like to memorialize by adding them to the list, submit their names with the form below.