Police interactions: Why are some compelled to run? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Police interactions: Why are some compelled to run?

Sonja Walker Sonja Walker
Aaron Kirk Aaron Kirk
William Stanley William Stanley
Larry Brown Larry Brown

As the protests and unrest continued in Baltimore Thursday, some Valdosta residents were sharing thoughts on the issue of running from police.

25 year old Freddie Gray ran from Baltimore police after they approached him on April 12th. He was arrested for fleeing, and then died a short time later from a spinal injury.

As of Thursday, the city of Baltimore had been rocked by riots and protests since April 25th, by people protesting Gray's death.

Valdosta resident Sonja Walker said if an officer approached her while she was minding her own business, she would be suspicious and question the officer, but she wouldn't run away.

"Why should you run when you aint done nothing?" Walker asked, rhetorically. "Just stand there and be yourself."

Valdosta Police Department Lt. Aaron Kirk said regardless of the situation, running is never the right thing to do. "It's important to follow directions of an officer, because you don't know what information that officer [has] been given," Lt. Kirk emphasized.

William Stanley said he, too, would not run away if approached by an officer, but he said he understands, especially after what happened in Baltimore and other cities, why so many young black men do feel the urge to run, even if they haven't done anything wrong.

"You got to realize," said Stanley, "these young youth and what they seeing' on TV. So, they afraid for they lives. I aint afraid of my life, they afraid of they lives. So, they just going off fear. They scared right now."

Larry Brown agreed, saying that the logical thing to do is to not run away, but young black men feel like police are out to get them. "If the police is out to get us, just as well as our enemies, what are we supposed to do?" 

He said he didn't believe the problem would ever be completely solved, but it could be helped if people from different races take time to learn about each other instead of making assumptions.

As of Thursday, Baltimore Police were expected to turn over their report on the incident involving Freddie Gray to the state's attorney general on Friday.

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