Cass Tech quarterback Jayru Campbell, who is verbally committed to play football at MSU, is accused of assaulting a security guard.
An open message to Bro. Jayru Campbell:
In 1986 I was a very talented football player at Cass Technical High School. It was my senior year, and I was kicked out of school for being involved in two fights and skipping school. There was a rage inside of me because of a violation of my trust by an adult in authority in my life. I had to face the consequences of my conduct. I finished my high school class work at Henry Ford High School but was allowed to receive a Cass Tech Diploma. I never walked across the stage with my CT Classmates. That hurt me and cut like a knife.
I faced the consequences of my behavior. I was able to go on from that pivotal point in my life and join the Detroit Police Department, serve my community for 26 years and ultimately become it’s 40th Chief of Police. This didn’t happen in a vacuum, “the community,” my “village,” didn’t accept my behavior but it didn’t let it define the rest of my life either; they prayed for me and let me know that those were things I did, but that was not who I was, disappointed in me yes, but they expected greater from me.
Young man, we have no stones to cast at you. We hold you accountable for what was done, but we are here to love you back into a very promising career and future. This crossroad you now face can either be a “stumbling block” for you to trip over or a “Stepping stone” for you to stand on and see beyond the sensationalism of the moment.
As a community, particularly one of color, we don’t have any throwaway “men;” our prisons are littered disproportionately with black and brown men; we have failed as a village. Not only for Jayru, but this should be a wake up call for all of us to get more involved in our young brothers lives and not just when they can “make the league,” but because we can’t afford to let Satan gain one more inch in the lives of our people, particularly young men of color.
Instead of talking about him, let’s pray him back to life and also pray for the guard who was involved who probably has been forgotten in all of the hype. This child’s life isn’t our entertainment but a teachable moment for us all. Love you, little brother in the name of Jesus!
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Pastor Ralph Godbee was Detroit’s 40th chief of police and is currently a pastor.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.