A video of a young Black boy hiding from a police car while playing basketball in his yard has captured attention worldwide following the death of George Floyd after a white police officer kneeled on his neck.
The clip shows Eliah, 10, shooting hoops on the property of his Connecticut family home last week. As a police car rolls down his street, he stops in his tracks and hides behind a vehicle in his driveway. When the car drives away, he continues playing basketball.
His dad, Stacey Pierre-Louis, shared the footage on his Instagram account last Friday, noting that he debated whether or not he should share it.
“I live in an affluent neighbourhood in Trumbull with a really good school system. This kid has all the opportunity to do/be whatever he wants unlike many kids who look like him because resources aren’t made available,” the post reads. “Why does he feel like he has to hide when he isn’t doing anything wrong?
“I asked him why he did that when he got home. He replied: ‘Because they killed George Floyd.’ Stunned, I replied: ‘OK, kiddo.’ I didn’t know what and still don’t know what to say to him to make it better. A manager at my job told me to tell him that doing what he did is ridiculous and that I should teach him not to be fearful of police. Deep down, I don’t know if it’s true. Maybe staying out of the way is best.
“He didn’t learn this behaviour at home. We stream movies so he doesn’t see the news and we don’t talk negatively about police. No need to reply in the comments, but think to yourself: What would you say?”
Since sharing the video on the social media platform, Pierre-Louis, a client advisor at a local BMW dealership, has been overwhelmed with positive support from the public.
He said Eliah is “doing well” and that he’s “optimistic that this (video) can add to making a change for the better,” he told CBS News.
“Since I’ve shared this video, I’ve been overwhelmed with support, which leads me to believe that there is far more good in this world than there is bad,” he continued. “So it is our hope that this video can be used as a tool to help continue to bring us together in this fight and inspire change for the better.”
On Tuesday, NBA player LeBron James shared the video on Twitter, writing: “Breaks my heart.”
Breaks my Heart!! 😢😢😢😢💔 https://t.co/wKLDonZ9sC
— LeBron James (@KingJames) June 16, 2020
The original post now boasts more than 94,000 views. James’ post alone has 330,000 likes and more than 74,000 comments so far.
“This just brought me to tears,” one Instagram user commented. “He’s sweet, little consciousness of potential danger, just from seeing a cop car.”
Another wrote: “This is so heartbreaking. I’m sorry to say I agree with you. I would caution my loved ones to stay safe from danger and it would appear the ‘justice’ system is part of that danger to people of colour.”
Pierre-Louis was at work when he first saw the video, lamenting that he felt “helpless” and wished he could’ve been there to make his son feel safe.
“Unfortunately, this is the reality for millions of Black and minority children across this nation and the world,” he told CBS News. “My priority as a parent and family man is to protect my son and children from the atrocities and injustices of the world and provide them with the tools to be whole, productive and fearless contributing members of the world.
“In the state of times and for reasons we all see daily, it makes it difficult. But as many parents are doing, I can only continue to educate and prepare my son with the truth and arm him with the tools to continue to create change.
“It’s my hope that when he becomes a man, he’ll then be able to do the same for his family.”
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.