Sometimes when we are led to pray for others, we tend to forget that we are not exempt from those prayers ourselves. On Memorial Day, I joined a group of leaders and pastors to pray against racism and social injustice. Each of us was given a topic to cover in prayer. My prayer focus was for God to heal those who experienced injustice and for the Lord to grant them beauty for ashes according to Isaiah 61:3. Little did I realize that this moment would begin a journey I did not plan to take.
A few days after the prayer event, the prayer request that I had made to the Lord for others still pressed upon my heart. This time the Holy Spirit led me to reflect on myself. His words to me were, “You are not exempt from those who need to be healed. You have experienced injustice too.” At that moment, a 21-year-old secret surfaced.
On June 14, 1999, my parents received a call that changed our lives forever. My oldest brother was dead—shot and killed by the Baltimore police. Unlike many innocent black men and women shot by the police, my brother wasn't doing the right thing and was rightly to be arrested. Yet he resisted arrest and led the police on a high-speed chase until his vehicle crashed. At the crash site, a police officer approached his vehicle and reported that he thought my brother was reaching for a gun and fired as many as 10 shots into my brother’s body. As a result, the officer was placed on paid administrative leave.
During a private investigation, the original police report was found to be falsified. Instead of one officer being involved in my brother’s killing, there were three officers. The death certificate read “shot numerous times” and revealed more than 10 bullet wounds ...1
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