When I was in fifth grade,
a man followed my brother home.
I remember being on the computer
in the office right by the front door.
At first, it was a frantic knock.
My brother and his seventh grade friends
were quickly getting off their bikes,
my brother telling me to open the door.
I took my time getting up,
thinking they had forgotten their keys.
claiming to be neighborhood watch,
followed my brother and his friends home.
He saw them playing tag on their bicycles
on their own school campus,
yelled at them for trespassing,
threatening to call the cops,
and when no police arrived
he decided to take matters into his own hands.
He followed them home.
In his car.
He tailed them, but they saw him.
They tried to avoid him,
but when they got home
he pulled up and got out of his car
and ran up to our front door.
Our front door.
He came to our front door.
He followed them all the way home
and came up to our front door.
My brother was screaming frantically,
not knowing why this guy was following them,
not knowing what he was going to do to them,
That's what's scariest of all.
And then this man grabbed one of them.
He took one of my brother's friends by the arm,
started yelling at him,
and pulled him away in a fierce tugging motion
while the rest of them were kicking,
ramming, banging, charging against
our front door.
When I unlocked it,
they all came running in,
and we watched as this insane vigilante
dragged our friend down the walk to his car.
We could hear the cries and shrieks for help,
this kid's voice echoing through the windows
of our neighbors and residents...
Not knowing just what this man was going to do.
Not knowing what our friend would do.
We took a couple seconds to breathe,
and then we marched outside.
There was no time to think,
we were ready to fight.
We had no other option.
There was one thing we all knew,
we knew we were going to take this guy down,
we knew we were going to do what we could to hold him down,
we knew we were going to shatter every window on his car.
We knew we had to fight him.
We quickly rounded down the front walkway,
and we saw our friend standing outside the car,
this maniac yelling at him
from the safe confines of his vehicle.
He saw us gathered,
ready to force him off our property,
and he split.
Went through all that trouble
traveling all that distance
to give some kids a stern talkin' to.
I've hated that man ever since.
It's a memory I've carried with me
through all the years.
Through all my life.
A memory that has always made me afraid
of the citizen definition of
law and justice.
Since that day...
A part of me was always morbidly curious,
just what would've happened if that crazy man,
that self-appointed agent of neighborhood watch,
decided to elevate the situation.
What if he did arm himself
to confront a bunch of dumb kids
"trespassing" on their own school grounds
to play bicycle tag on a Saturday?
What if he did feel legitimately threatened by us?
What if our counter assault to retrieve our friend
was seen as an attempt on his life?
What if he defended himself...
...With a gun?
I always thought that
was the worst.
...Now I know.
Now I know.
And I wish I didn't.
Rest in peace Trayvon.
My prayers to you and your family.
To your friends.
To kids everywhere
just being kids.
Rest in peace.
I'm so sorry.