The boy and officer in this photo make me want to believe in Humanity. I remember back in 1967 when the officers were called in for demonstrations. There were riots left and right because of the Vietnam war. I was a child but certain things remain in your memory. The national guard was called in because the Chicago PD couldn’t control the crowd, the looting, etc. A man in the riot crowd put a flower in the gun of the Guard to indicate “Peace”. It was a photo the has been held for humanity in “Life” magazine. A sign for everyone to see that all the hippies wanted was “Peace, no war”.
This photo reminded me of the same thing. This little boy didn’t want the PO to be hot with all his gear on and irritated for just standing there. So he wanted to show a sign of “We don’t all hate you, we just want peace, would you like a bottle of water?” That’s what I believe the little boy wanted to say. That is why I believe the story here can be related to 1967.
The little boy is just a boy among many who live in the Baltimore area, sick of having nothing but young enough not to show such hatred as did the rioters the first night. The PO is one among many who was doing his job, by listening to his commander to stand and not do anything, except be a presence in the community. His side as a human being wanted to get to his knees and take that water to show he, probably, is a father, a husband, and has a heart, yet he couldn’t because he was on duty. There you have a conflict, just as the Baltimore riots were, all conflicts between PO and the people who live there. In 1968 there were conflicts between the hippies and their beliefs in the Vietnam wars against the guard and their orders to take control over the demonstrations.
Why they were there is probably answered in my above comment, but they’re there because they both want peace. As far as where will they be in five years is hard to answer but I think that can only be answered by our society. Will the child be a statistic? Will he be like all the kids in Baltimore who started this riot? Hating PO’s and everyone else who feels they have done him an injustice and continue the hate instead of putting it behind him, getting an education and not being a statistic as many who are in that area. I want him to be an example for others, saying to the world, “remember that photo that was taken of me in 2015? I’m not that child in poverty anymore, I got an education and I believe in myself. I’m not in a category!” That’s what I want to believe in. Yet we won’t know until we see changes in communities and especially in our nation.
As far as the officer in 5 years. I think he will look back on that shot of him, remember how he had to tell that young child, “No I can’t take the water right now”. He will be thinking about how he wanted to tell that child, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry that I couldn’t take the water from you 5 years ago, I really wanted to, but I was on duty. I didn’t want you to feel like I didn’t care. I have a family, just like you do, I understand your situation here, even though many didn’t believe I did. I’m sure your Mom was doing the best she could for you and I know it was just a few bad people who started this riot. I’m so glad you decided to stay in school, because staying on the streets would only make you worse” That’s what I would want him to say to that child in 5 years. I believe in 5 years he probably won’t be in Baltimore, I’m just hoping he is one PO in a few, or many, that really cares, wants to make a difference and does something for the community where he went to. I just want to believe what I wrote, yet we are only the writers, the future is in their hands, as a society we have to stop categorizing both of these people.