FLINT (WJRT) (6/2/2020) – “I'm not a sellout. I'm attempting to help.This is the method I wish to assist,” First Lieutenant Yvonne Brantley said.
She's been a Michigan State Trooper for 25 years, serving numerous communities throughout our state.
F/Lt. Brantley rose through the ranks at MSP and now heads the Flint Post.
She is the greatest ranking African American woman presently serving with the Michigan State Police.
The enduring divide in between authorities and the African American neighborhood is something she understands from both sides.
However, she's dedicated her career to putting an end to it.
F/Lt. Brantley described what's pushed her this far is dealing with other people the method she wishes to be dealt with. It's a lesson she's instilling in the 71 cannon fodders she now oversees.
“Everybody who's a person who has compassion, who understands the distinction in between ideal and incorrect, saw that and were annoyed,” she stated. “And, that's why you see what's going on here.”
Enjoying the now notorious death of George Floyd as a Minneapolis Police Office knelt on his neck, reminded F/Lt. Brantley why she never ever wished to be a policeman.
“I was the kid who played in the street; and, we were always being pestered by the authorities which's not something I've ever wished to be associated with,” she explained.
However at 11-years-old, her family vehicle caught on fire. And, a Michigan State Police Trooper reacted to the scene
“He put us all in his police car,” she stated. “He drove us home and then my Grandmother asked him, ‘Do you want to come in for a cup of coffee?' And when he said yes, I imply, I took a step back and I'm like wow.”
She still gets goosebumps speaking about the day her profession path altered, when she saw the human beyond the badge.
“I've never utilized my taser, never needed to utilize my taser; since the most effective weapon that I have is not around my weapon belt, it's right here,” she stated, pointing to her mouth.
Interaction and really belonging of the neighborhood, Lt. Brantley discussed, are the secrets to mending the broken relationship in between police and the people they serve.
“We have worked so difficult to build trust within this neighborhood and we will not– we don't want to do anything that's going to jeopardize that, you know. So, if we walk with them, if we take a knee with them, that's what you're supposed to do,” she said. “We need to put them first. It's not about us. It's not! It's about them.”