A Miami police officer has become a hero and a mentor to the teenage boy who attacked him with a skateboard during a Black Lives Matter riot over the summer.
According to the Miami Herald, 17-year-old Michael Marshall attacked Officer Raymon Washington, smashing him in the head with a skateboard during a protest that devolved into a violent riot back in June.
Fast-forward to today, and Washington has become Marshall’s biggest supporter, frequently attending the young man’s high school football games and sitting with his family.
The two often talk about football, family, and life Washington told the Herald.
“I was that kid — high school athlete, wanted to go to college. Had offers on the [table]. I was like, I don’t want to screw this kid up. If I can change one life, and that’s it, then that’s it,” Washington said. “I should have been dead three times this year. For some reason, God was like, you’re here for a reason.”
NEW: An unlikely bond. Miami cop becomes mentor to teen who attacked him with a skateboard during a BLM protest https://t.co/dh6DOC7jdx
— David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) November 13, 2020
Back in October, Washington arranged to meet Marshall in a conference room at the Miami-Dade Children’s Courthouse. There, he gave Marshall his personal cell phone number, offered to drive him to and from football practice, promised to help him find a tutor.
Before that fateful riot, Marshall says he had never had an encounter with the police or attended a protest before.
“It was important to me as a young Black man to go out there and stand with my people,” Marshall said, adding that he didn’t know any other protesters there. “It was important to represent something way bigger than me.”
That protest soon morphed into something else entirely, and the mob proceeded to vandalize statues of Christopher Columbus and Juan Ponce de León, as well as violently clash with police.
In the uproar, Marshall attacked Washington with his skateboard, only to turn himself in to police shortly thereafter.
“When I was going home, I looked around and realized [the protest] took a hard curve and it wasn’t for me,” Marshall said, describing the remorse he felt after participating in the riot.
“I took a shower, ordered a pizza and slept for three days,” Washington added. “I woke up to my brother kicking in my front door. They thought I was dead.”
Despite his admission of guilt, Marshall faces charges of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer. However, prosecutors will drop all charges if the young man completes probation, which will last until his 19th birthday, and volunteer hours at the Miami Police Department.
“The uproar — I understood it because I’m Black myself,” Washington said of the riot. “I still get stopped in my neighborhood in my car by the police. I get it. There is change that needs to happen but tearing up the city is not one way.”
Folks, what a mighty way to show God’s grace! Praise God for this officer and for this young man who has seen that violence is not the way.
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