• Sivonnia DeBarros, Esq.

"Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere." MLK, Jr.

Updated: Jun 15



Stories of victimization by American Police officers are stories that are common to black people in America. I wish I could say that I never experienced or seen cops batter my family. I wish I could say that I've never been mistreated by cops in the country that promised to "serve and protect me," . . . but I can't.


Too often, black people are forced to live in a culture that demonizes and promotes injustice against them. Nevermind the hard work they exude to illustrate that "we are not a threat." Nevermind a young black man or woman who are college educated. Nevermind a young black man who decides to leave his home for a morning jog. Nevermind....


It's like, "nevermind our lives" because we don't matter. There's a reason that the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement began. To shout out to the rooftops that, "hey, we matter too y'all!" Like, we have family and friends who love us too! We want to see our children grow up to have their own children and to reach their dreams! We want to see that for our families too! "Our lives matter."!

But often, we are still victimized and silenced by movements that occupy just to override and overwrite our voices by saying "Blue lives matter," and "white lives matter," or "all lives matter." Well, duh... But clearly you don't get the point!


Don't overshadow our message! If all lives mattered, black men, women and children wouldn't be gunned down for no apparent reason. If all lives matter, a white supremacists man wouldn't be able to gun down an entire church of people and be left standing and taken to McDonald's for food. If all lives mattered, a young black woman sitting peacefully in her home wouldn't be gunned down by police officers executing a warrant at the wrong address.


I can go on and on for days because it's been my life. It's been my experiences of seeing my community suffering and emotionally traumatized from decades of injustice and that is why I became a lawyer.


Excerpt from What Are you Sporting About?


My Aunt’s son, probably in his late teens at the time, came running with his friend towards the house while I was outside playing one of those hot summer days.

Then I saw two cops coming after them. The cops knocked the boys down to the ground and was hitting them with the batons. That day was so traumatic for me. I still live with that mental image and possibly will for the rest of my life. I ran inside to get my Aunt and told her what was happening. We all came to the door.


I remember yelling to the cops… “Get off of my cousin!” I knew right then that I’d be a lawyer to right the wrongs of injustice. It wasn’t until law school that I understood what type of lawyer I’d become. I always had the idea that I would be a criminal defense lawyer because of what I witnessed and how I was moved.


***


This isn't an isolated scenario for most. We have remained patient, trying to be calm, trying to say "they will get it one day." But will they? If you stand silent to the injustices that are happening around you, you are clearly contributing to injustice everywhere!


Be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves!


In my new book, What Are You Sporting About?, I share my stories of police victimization.

To learn more about my current release or to order your copy of What Are You Sporting About?, simply click here.


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