Throughout the summer, there have been repeated instances of an unarmed man being shot by police.
The rash police shootings have given way to movements such as Black Lives Matter, and another movement started when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel instead of stand for the national anthem during an NFL preseason game.
That movement has spread across the country throughout NFL stadiums and even spread to college and high school football games. But it’s also a movement that has led to a discussion along with some perceived misconceptions.
One of those perceived misconceptions came from Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell, who made an Instagram post of a police officer being stabbed shortly after five Dallas police officers were shot and killed in July.
What followed after Crowell’s post was outrage, including from Stephen Loomis, President of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, who condemned the posting and threatened to have police boycott Browns games.
But through the anger, Sargent Demetrick Pennie, President of the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation saw something different. Where other’s saw outrage, Pennie saw a misconception on Crowell’s part, who never had a positive interaction with law enforcement.
The result was an unlikely bond between Pennie and Crowell. A bond that started when Pennie invited Crowell to attend the funeral of Patrick Zamarripa, one of the five officers killed in what was the single deadliest day for law enforcement since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
It’s a bond that continued to grow over the next few months and a bond that led Crowell to donate his $35,000 game check to Pennie’s foundation.
Through those misconceptions, a new friendship was formed and with it a new appreciation and better understanding for what the law enforcement community does.