Fourteen Years Gone

Jerrod Miller

Fourteen years ago yesterday, Jerrod Miller, 16, was shot and killed outside of the Delray Full Service Center by a rookie Delray Beach police officer.

Jerrod was shot exactly 7 years before Trayvon Martin, 17, was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida sparking a national conversation that still boils.

In the ensuing years, we’ve experienced countless stories that are eerily similar.

I’m not sure how many people are thinking of Jerrod Miller these days in Delray, but I am. I think about him all the time.

I know a few police officers are thinking about him too because I got a text from one of them. I used to get a lot more—time passes I suppose.

When the shooting happened, we heard over and over again how Delray would never be the same and I suppose in some ways that is true. If you were there, if you were his brother, father, grandmother, relative, friend or teacher you most certainly were changed by what happened.

But time marches on, relentlessly. And so does life. It’s a cliché sure, but reality too.

Today, most people probably don’t know what happened in a breeze way at a school that now serves as an adult education center. Back in those days, it was an alternative school.

But I remember and I will never forget. That’s why I am writing this today…a very small way to keep a memory alive.

We’ve lost a lot of young men and women to gunfire in the 14 years since we lost Jerrod.

That’s a real national emergency if you ask me.

But I’m afraid we are becoming immune. I fear that our hearts are hardening.

I heard about a fatal shooting in Delray a few weeks back, but I don’t remember seeing much on the news and nobody I knew really talked about it. Maybe we’ve become numb to violence. I sure hope not.

Because the day we become numb to violence is the day we become untethered from our humanity.

 

 

 

 

 

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