Nonfiction On Odyssey: Sixteen
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Politics and Activism

Nonfiction On Odyssey: Sixteen

A gun, 16 shots, and a verdict later- Laquan Mcdonald is still dead.

Nonfiction On Odyssey: Sixteen

Damn. What I would give to be alive.

That night, when I decided to keep hold of my knife instead of listen to the police, I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe I was scared; the police shot up so many Black boys before me- I didn't want to be next. I didn't want to come empty-handed into a gunfight. I thought bring a knife would suffice- never intended to actually use it.

And funny enough, I never got the chance.

I died on the first bullets impact. If It hurt, I didn't know it- something in me sensed death the minute you, Van Dyke stepped onto the scenes. Apparently, you had already decided that "they were gonna have to shot me," before you even got out of the car? Call me crazy, but you should have considered that I was 16 and human- we all make mistakes right?

Shot number two reminded me that Black boys can't make mistakes; Black boys have large targets on their backs- Van Dyke, you had terrible aim, my man. Only five shots hit my back- what were you aiming for?

Shot number three, aimed at my chest, reminded me of the lives I've loved- my soul cringed when I realized I would never hug my momma again. I would never become a father or start a family of my own- I would never become one with another, I would never have someone's hand in marriage; their hand forever mine to hold.

I felt the weight of my unfulfilled dreams on shots 4, 5, 6, and 7. Damn, I am really dead.

Shot number eight reminded me that I would never lose my virginity. I was still a boy. I died, still a boy. (Van Dyke, this shot was just straight disrespectful if we are being honest).

For shots number 9





And 14, I was graced with the presences of God. He told me that Van Dyke didn't know what he did... and I straight told God that I couldn't comprehend. Sure I brought a knife to a gun fight, but did I really deserve Van Dykes whole cartridge unloaded into my body? Does anyone deserve gunshots for bringing a knife to a gunfight?

I looked to God for answers on shot 14- he didn't say anything, but in his presence, I finally understood. I can't quite put into words the meaning behind shots 9-14... but I have peace with it.

Or at least I did.

Shot number 15 brought me down from heaven- I only came back for a millisecond; the pain was too much to bear. That fifteenth bullet shot straight through my torso. It shot straight through any sympathy I had for you, Van Dyke and people like you, the police. I was tempted to hate all police officers but as the blood splattered from my body and sprayed onto you, Van Dyke, I didn't see you, the police officer in blue. I saw, very clearly if I may add, A man who didn't care about me from the start, covered in my wrong, but innocent blood.

Shot 15 taught me to love the men in blue and hate the man covered in red. These men covered in red end up looking like the American flag- red with blood, white in skin complexion, and blue in uniform.

God Bless America... right?

Shot 16, which exited just below my groin area, made me forget any malice in my heart. Shot number 16 opened my eyes and made me look back to God for answers. Shot number 16 spoke to me saying "enough is enough." Shot number 16 rang louder than the others. Shot number 16 was met with a deafening silence.

I was dead in 15 seconds. The 16th shot was popped for emphasis.

Van Dyke, what point were you trying to make when you shot me the 16th time? I understood Shots number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14, and 15 but shot number 16 really makes me wonder.

Were you so afraid of me, the 16-year-old who brought a knife to a gun fight, that you thought 16 shots was the right amount of bullets to strike fear into me? Or, and I pray to God this isn't so .... even though I know it is, are you that insensitive to Black boys that you thought 16 shots was enough to kill me and kill the dreams of Black boys around the world?

Sixteen. 16 shots might as well be synonymous with hate; but I refuse to give it back.

Shot number 16 reminded me that hate met with hate just procreates- it doesn't change a damned thing.

So, I forgive you, Van Dyke- Ill be watching your court case intently from heaven. I hope justice is served, but more importantly, I hope love is multiplied.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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