Original submission by author

I will not say his name, he shall remain omnipotent.
We were heading to school.
During this time we were in middle school.
Boys wanted to look fresh. Blues Clues backpacks to match our shoes.
He chose to wear a Pokemon backpack with Pikachu shoes.
We lied about the girls we kissed.
A sheriff squad car pulled up.
Two officers.
“It takes a real man to wear Pokemon.”
We turnt towards the officers.
“Fuck you guys looking at?”
The passenger spat “can’t wait until you guys get older. Kill you black bastards.”
I did not get the exchange, but he began to cry.
The next morning he burnt his backpack and shoes.
We walked to school when the rosy cheek of Pikachu turned black.
The officers pulled up.
It was as if they were waiting for us.
“We are kids, why don’t you leave us alone?”
He stood with tears streaking his face.
They exploded from the car.
They beat him in front of me.
“Leave him alone,” I helplessly pleaded.
“Shut your ass up, stay back.” I was ordered.
Nobody believed us.
They were there to protect and serve.
Humiliated we went to school.
His eyes bore black hatred and red rage.
Weeks later, we were headed to school.
The officers pulled up.
He took off running.
They chased him.
Moments later there were two shots.
They killed him.
He was trying to hide
They ordered him from the bushes and said he had a weapon.
He had his backpack to his chest.
Only books.
What I once thought was normal is now the world’s reality.
I remember you!

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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Carnell Wingfield Jr.

Carnell Wingfield Jr. is a writer and contributing poet at High Desert State Prison in California. He is a sociology major at Feather River College and also graduated with distinction from Blackstone Career Institute's paralegal course.