I'll Never Forget When I Told a Mother her 16-Year-Old Had Been Killed. #OfficerDavisSpeaks #Pit
In the words of Pittsburgh Police Officer Antoine Davis… as a Police Officer it is mandatory that you are honest, have integrity, courage, compassion, and respectful. “I sometimes find it difficult to be a Police Officer during this era because of social media. Every day you can find a video showing a Police Officer having a negative encounter with someone. This creates the perception that all Officers are racist, violent, and untrustworthy. Some people who have never personally experienced an encounter with a Police Officer will believe these things they often see and hear, and instantly believe it to be true that all officers are this way. Bad publicity makes it difficult for us to do our job at times,” Officer Davis said. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and more has been flooded with videos and articles of where innocent and unarmed individuals were shot, killed, and treated unjustly by men in badges and blue. Social media has been consumed by these stories since the Trayvon Martin trial. These repeated occurrences have led many Americans to see Police Officers as the enemy. Officer Davis said, “I have experienced racism and being racially profiled all my life, being a Black man and growing up in the hood; I can relate. My heart hurts for those who lost their lives, Trayvon Martin Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, etc.” “The way I engage with people to break the negative stigma of Police Officers is by letting them get to know who I am as a person. I tell people all the time that you cannot place everyone in the same category. You will find in every profession, good and bad people. If a person encounters a bad waiter or waitress at a restaurant, it shouldn’t mean they shouldn’t eat out anymore. I believe you should treat people based on the way you are being treated under the circumstances,” Officer Davis said. Officer Davis decided that he wanted to pursue a career in Law Enforcement during his childhood, growing up in the Hill District in the early 90’s. “I witnessed a lot of violence, crime, and drug addiction. I wanted to do something to help my community and the people I care about. I believed that if I became a Police Officer I would get the opportunity to help those that cannot help themselves,” Officer Davis said. Before achieving his career goal in Law Enforcement, Officer Davis worked at Federal Express. Officer Davis is a Community Resource Officer, and engages heavily within the city of the Pittsburgh. He attends community events, gives presentations at schools & churches, mentors young men & women, and provides resources and education to adults. He even had the opportunity to meet celebrity, Jennifer Hudson while working her event. Although, Officer Davis has some exciting moments within his career, he says his most memorable moment was when he had to tell a mother that her 16-year-old child had been shot several times and killed. “When I retire from this profession, I want to be remembered as a Police Officer who cared about people and would do anything to help someone. I want people to understand that every day we put our uniforms on and risk our lives to save others. At the end of the day, none of us are guaranteed that we will return home to our families. If I can bridge the gap between Police and community; my legacy will be fulfilled,” Officer Davis concluded.