I bear in mind Thanksgiving after I was in fifth grade and absolutely realized my dad and mom had been actually all the time on name. About an hour earlier than we had been to eat, my mother acquired the decision to return into work. I used to be like, “Proper now? On Thanksgiving?” She stated, “Brianna, I am a police officer, and I am wanted. I can not simply take the time off.”

It is essential for me to share my background. I’ve lived with cops my total life. My father, Howard, labored 28 years for the Houston Police Division and is now a campus sergeant for a group faculty right here in Houston. My mom, Kellye, is a captain within the felony investigation division for the Texas Division of Public Security and has been a police officer for 26 years.

In fact, I might all the time recognized my dad and mom had been in legislation enforcement, nevertheless it was over time, as I grew up, that I actually knew what that meant: My mother and pa are sworn to guard and serve in any respect prices.

For the previous week, it has been onerous for me to consider something however George Floyd, the protests and the nationwide dialog that many people are having, however some are avoiding.

There’s a coronavirus pandemic. However there may be additionally the pandemic of police brutality. I do know some folks would possibly get overwhelmed by the response that Floyd’s dying has prompted, as a result of it is in all places. Nevertheless it ought to be in all places.

How are you going to be a citizen of this nation and never wish to converse out? How are you going to witness what we have seen up to now week and never have something to say? I believe possibly persons are afraid, they usually do not wish to say the “flawed factor.” However in case you’re supporting humanity and equality, I do not get how you possibly can say the flawed factor.

I am not a police officer. I performed faculty basketball at Notre Dame and am getting into my second WNBA season with the Phoenix Mercury. So, I can not converse for my dad and mom; however I can converse to what it is wish to dwell with them and see what they undergo, and listen to their tales. I believe the world of my dad and mom. We discuss continuously about what is going on on.

Some folks will share all the things on social media. I do not. I’m extra of a reserved individual. However I do share issues which are actually essential to me. The issues I’ve stated about this on social media, they’re what I really feel. I wasn’t in search of folks to present me a like or a retweet. I wasn’t serious about what the reception was going to be. I wasn’t anticipating to get a name to be on SportsCenter. I am simply speaking freely, as a result of I am a citizen. I see what’s taking place, and I can not simply sit by and never say something.

I am going to acknowledge there may be some complicated house for me, issues I am nonetheless making an attempt to navigate. I take a look at a few of my associates’ tales and protests, and the NWA track “F— tha Police” is simply blasting within the background. And I am like, “My dad and mom are police. I can not help blasting a track like that.”

However we’re watching protestors clashing with nationwide guard and cops, and it is unhappy to see: These persons are protesting police brutality, but in lots of instances, they’re nonetheless being met with police brutality.

Folks shouldn’t be afraid to work together with cops. They need to not concern for his or her lives once they get pulled over. That may be a massive challenge on this nation. And it must be addressed internally in each police division within the nation.

“I may see somebody who appears to be like like George Floyd being my dad, or my uncle or my cousin. … Only a fixed, unsettling concern {that a} member of your individual household might be the subsequent hashtag on black lives misplaced as a result of police brutality.”

Brianna Turner

Folks have been texting me, “You are so brave for talking out.” I do not really feel brave. It isn’t brave to care about humanity. I believe it is a widespread sense factor. Some folks have stated, “Means to make use of your platform.” I’ve like 6,000 Twitter followers; in comparison with a whole lot of athletes, that is nothing. Nevertheless it goes to indicate regardless of how massive or small your platform is, you could have a message to share.

I’ve seen a whole lot of different WNBA gamers converse out. I learn Natasha Cloud’s piece in The Gamers’ Tribune. I’ve had folks from the Mercury group attain out to me personally and lend me their help. It feels good to me that I am being seen and heard by them.

And possibly there are methods the WNBA may work extra carefully with legislation enforcement. I am unsure what that might seem like, nevertheless it might be a optimistic factor. If folks come to video games and see their favourite gamers having optimistic interplay with legislation enforcement, it might be a solution to bridge the hole between police and the group. I consider sports activities might help with that.

I take into consideration what my father as soon as advised me after I requested why he wished to be a police officer. He stated he noticed a whole lot of issues in his group whereas rising up that bothered him. He did not like the way in which police had been treating his neighbors. His older brother was a police officer, too, so he form of adopted his footsteps. My dad determined to be the change that he wished to see.

However here is the factor: I hear the outline of George Floyd: A 6-foot-6 black man. That is my father, too. I take into consideration what number of cases when my dad has been out doing one thing — at a gasoline station, or simply getting one thing to eat — and somebody has been startled or nervous simply due to his presence. It’s totally potential that has occurred his entire life. There are individuals who would see my dad and assume he’s a “menace” to them, and that is an especially scary factor to me.

I may see somebody who appears to be like like George Floyd being my dad, or my uncle or my cousin. That is affecting so many black households. It is relatable. Only a fixed, unsettling concern {that a} member of your individual household might be the subsequent hashtag on black lives misplaced as a result of police brutality.

I work out day by day, and generally it is actually onerous to pay attention, as a result of my thoughts is so consumed with all the things that is occurring. It is onerous to focus at occasions. I must be prepared when the WNBA calls and our season begins, and I will likely be. However I can also’t flip this off.

I do not wish to flip it off. None of us ought to. We’re by no means going to be accomplished speaking about it till we see actual change.

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