Cynthia Bond Hopson

Heaven Help Us Make the Right Decisions…

Share This Post

Heaven Help Us Make the Right Decisions…

Man‘s inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn!” – Robert Burns

This 239-year-old quote from poet Robert Burns came to mind as I searched for something to say about the death of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old Memphis man who was savagely beaten by police on January 7. Seeing him attached to tubes with his eyes swollen shut and his face bloodied broke my heart but seeing how it happened was more than I could bear.

The traffic stop that resulted in his beating and subsequent death at the hands of five Memphis police officers left me speechless, however, that his death was by African American officers sworn to protect and serve him seemed to make bad matters worse.

We’ve seen minor traffic accidents end in horrific beatings and deaths—Rodney King, George Floyd– but rarely are African American officers the offenders. The five officers were fired and arrested.

My heart goes out to Tyre’s mother especially. Mothers are programmed to come when their children call and to hear him trying to reach his mother’s protection but being unable to, amplified my sadness.

My thoughts inevitably went to the families of the arrested officers. My mother told me early “I’m with you 100 percent if you’re in the right but I won’t uphold you in the wrong.” She said she’d vigorously defend me if I were wrongly accused but if I could’ve stayed out of trouble but chose not to, she said “Let me know where you are but I’m not coming to get you.”

I never found out if she meant it–I worked full time not to land in jail so, what do the parents, spouses, and relatives of these accused officers do or say? I’m sure the morning or afternoon of January 7th when these officers left for work, nobody could have predicted what would transpire.

One leader last week said this time the problem wasn’t Black but blue, meaning the officers were police officers first and African American second and would protect their own. I can’t say what color the problem is, but I think the actions of Chief C. J. Davis were appropriate, transparent, and necessary. Whether they are tried and convicted remains to be seen but restoring public trust is crucial.

There were no indications that anybody spoke up, attempted to stop the kicking and tasing, or render help. Mr. Nichols was in the street, uncared for, and treated like trash. Tyre’s parents said he ran from the police because he feared what might happen. Sadly, his fears were legitimate but what happened was much worse than anyone could have imagined.

Police officers are sworn to protect and serve but they, too, want to go home at the end of their shift. Traffic stops, construction zones, domestic calls, mental health interventions—almost any “routine” situation can be dangerous and deadly and assessing threats instantaneously is a life or death decision.

Officers, first responders, and their families live in constant fear of them dying while doing their jobs, but the majority of these brave souls go out and give their best every day. I’m grateful and I pray that what transpired in Memphis January 7, never happens again anywhere on earth.

Today we can decide

(1) will this be just another sad chapter that ended this treasured son’s life, and we wail and mourn as this madness and inhumanity continues? or (2) can communities and police departments build intentional partnerships and work toward mutual respect and care? Tyre and the others before him are depending on us to make good choices. Heaven help us if we don’t.

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.


Commissioner Jeffery Richmond

This week on ‘Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life,’ we’re joined by Haywood County Tennessee District 8 Commissioner Jeffery Richmond. Hailing from the

Listen now »
Writing and Telling Stories for History’s Sake with Prof. Henri Giles

This week’s episode dives into the personal history of Professor Henrietta Giles and her experiences as a child at the heart of the desegregation movement

Listen now »

Promote your business!

Become a Sponsor
Three Stores,
Two Cotton Gins and
One Remarkable Life

Get your message out to thousands of listeners across the Jackson, Tennessee listening area on 94.7 WOJG FM each Sunday at 3pm CST.

Complete the form to the right to learn more.