Your Rights during a Traffic Stop

serve and protect

We rely on the police to keep us safe and treat us all fairly, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion. This information provides tips for interacting with police and understanding your rights and is excerpted in part by the ACLU – American Civil Liberties Union, the Raleigh Police Department and various other sources.

Driving is a Privilege, Not a Right

Driving is not a constitutional right. You get your drivers’ license based on the skills you have and the rules you agree to follow. After you get your drivers’ license you must continue to demonstrate your ability to drive safely on the road. If you fail to demonstrate this ability, you will be issued traffic tickets, or even have your license suspended or revoked. No one has more right to the road than anyone else. If you’re going to drive, you owe it to the other roadway users and yourself to operate the vehicle in a safe manner.

During my career in Law Enforcement, I have had many opportunities to encounter civilians during “routine” traffic stops – enough to know that there is NO SUCH THING AS A ROUTINE TRAFFIC STOP! Every person is different, every circumstance is different and every story is different. The cars and the locations are the only part of the whole scenario that hardly ever changes. Here are a few basic Rights that you, as a civilian, have when dealing with Law Enforcement during a traffic stop. These tips are not to be construed or used as Legal Advice. Do your own research and use accordingly.

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There’s no magic word, handshake or gesture to get you “off the hook”. Every LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) is different and each Officer has their own way of doing things (within the law). What you must remember is that LEO’s are human beings – they are people just like me and you and they are all subject to peer pressure, mood swings, bad days, good days, etc. Most of the time their interactions with you are strictly business and you should not take it personally. They have a job to do – just like you when you go to work. They have supervisors who tell them what to do and give them parameters to work within – who also give them grief during the day and push for performance.

Now with that being said – there is a lot that can go wrong during one of these encounters regardless of whether you are guilty or not.

Most traffic encounters can be stressful, but everyone involved (even the Officer) all want the same thing – they want to get through it as quickly and safely as possible and get on with the rest of their day.  Remember – Driving is a Privilege – Not a Right!

Your Rights Explained:  I know my rights

1. Be ready (Have your Documents in a location that is easily accessible)

We’ll start from the beginning. Just as soon as you see that you are being pulled over, immediately put your turn signal on, slow down and safely come to a stop on the shoulder of the road. If it is dark and you feel unsafe, you can drive slowly to a more lighted area if possible. Once you get your vehicle stopped, put your car in park, turn down your radio, if it’s dark outside, turn on your interior lights and roll your window down so that you can communicate with the Officer. Attitude is key at this point. If the Officer sees that you are going to be hard to deal with, you will most likely have a rough time getting through the traffic stop quickly and in your favor. Officers have a vast arsenal of charges that they can charge you with so tread lightly.

2. Probable cause (Know what you’re being stopped for).

The Officer should tell you why you’ve been pulled over right away. You have a right to know why you were stopped, and officers need a reason to stop you. This is known as probable cause, and it can be for anything, including a license plate light being out or speeding. If the officer fails to tell you why they pulled you over, don’t be afraid to ask; it’s your right to know.

3. You don’t have to say much (But keep your hands visible at all times)!

In a routine traffic stop, you will need to provide your Drivers’ License, Vehicle Registration, Proof of Insurance, and you may have to answer some basic identifying questions.  Many people in North Carolina lawfully carry different types of weapons. You should notify the officer as to the presence of these weapons. For example, if you are a law-abiding gun owner who is carrying during your stop, let the officer know about the presence of your gun. When the officer asks for these documents or items, let him know that you are going to reach for them and state where they are at. This will help put the officer at ease with what you plan to do with your hands. Other than that, you can be as quiet as you want to be. Remember: Staying silent means you can’t incriminate yourself. Essentially if you are pulled over for speeding, tail lights, running a stop sign or some other violation of the vehicle code you are not required to answer unrelated questions.  As a matter of common sense you should be polite to the officer who pulled you over but you are not required to answer questions unrelated to your car (i.e. ‘were you drinking tonight,’ ‘where have you been’ etc.).  You are required to give the officer your license, registration and insurance card. You are not required to give the officer consent to search your vehicle nor are you required to talk with him if you don’t want to.

4. Film away (Record-keeping isn’t a bad idea). 

Relations between the police and certain communities aren’t great right now. For safety and evidence purposes, some Law Enforcement Agencies have started to use body cameras, so there’s a record of virtually every interaction between police and the citizens. But if you want to take matters into your own hands, it’s perfectly legal to film or record a traffic stop, so you have a record of the interaction, especially if you think you might need to dispute something later.

5. An attitude isn’t illegal (There’s no law against this, but we wouldn’t recommend it). 

At the end of the day, police officers are doing a job and want their days to go as smoothly as possible. There’s no law governing etiquette for dealing with an officer, and you can’t be arrested for having a bad attitude. But being difficult won’t do you any favors either. In fact, it’s probably the easiest way to make a tense situation go bad. If you’re being mistreated, fighting fire with fire isn’t going to help you at a traffic stop. “Any level-headed person who gets pulled over does what a police officer tells you, and there won’t be any problems. Whether the cop is wrong, you can hash it out in courts after it’s over.” Comply with all reasonable requests. When stopped, please follow the officer’s instructions. This is not the appropriate time to debate the merits of a traffic stop. Let your attorney handle that in the courtroom.

6. Do not get out of your car (unless instructed to by the Officer).

More often than not, when a police officer asks you to step out of the car, it’s for their own safety. They either want to make sure you don’t have a concealed weapon on you or issue a field sobriety test. Do not exit your vehicle unless the officer tells you to do so. Once again, this is true for passengers as well. Simply remain inside your car until the officer has a chance to speak with you.

7. You can refuse a breathalyzer test (Even exercising this right might land you in jail). 

This one is a double-edged sword. If you’re asked to submit to a breathalyzer test, remember you’re being asked, not ordered. Still, many states have implied consent laws, which mean you automatically consent to the test as soon as you get your license. If you refuse, you can still be arrested and charged with a DUI based on evidence presented by arresting officers. Either way, being in this scenario is a no-win situation.

8. Know where you stand

Most officers want traffic stops to be as quick as possible. But if you’re in a situation where you’ve had your documents returned but you’re still being questioned by the officer, you’re well within your rights to say, “I need to be going. Am I free to go?” If the answer isn’t a clear “yes,” you can ask, “Am I being detained?” If you’re not allowed to leave, it’s time to stop talking and think about getting a lawyer.

9. Don’t allow a search for any reason (Innocent or not, don’t ever do this). 

Sometimes, an officer will nonchalantly ask, “Mind if I take a look in your car?” Innocent or not, do not ever consent to this; no good ever comes of it. The only way an officer can search your car is if you consent, if you have something illegal in plain view, if they’ve already arrested you, if they have probable cause that a crime has immediately been committed, or if there’s danger that evidence from a crime could be immediately destroyed. Other than that, they need a warrant. End of story.

10. Warrants and checkpoints are (mostly) non-negotiable

If you’re driving and come to a police checkpoint, you need to stop and interact with the officers. There really isn’t a lot of wiggle room there. And in the event police have a warrant to search your car, you must let them search. But there is a catch: If they’re looking for a specific object, they only can search areas where that object can fit. If police start searching outside the parameters of the warrant, they’re violating your rights.

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So there you have it – remember this is just a guide and is not meant as Legal Advice – If you feel that you have been discriminated against or treated unfairly, make sure that you report it to someone. Everyone has a boss or someone that they report to – even the Police!

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Durham, Charlottesville – Hatred, Racism and YOU

Where do you fit in….

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I woke up Tuesday morning to hear the news of what happened in Durham, NC on Monday after the Charlottesville incident. Some people (white and black – male and female) and a Woman who climbed up a confederate statue, tied a rope around it while others pulled it over off of its’ base and to the ground. Then if that weren’t enough, they kicked it, stomped on it, spit on it and gave it the “finger” as if it were a living thing with feelings – taking pictures and videoing it and cheering like it was a prize bull that the Bullfighter had just conquered – all for what?????

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I hear of all this stuff going on around the word but this hit really close to home for me – literally! I’m like 45 minutes form Durham. Really People – this really shows your true character. This type of behavior is totally unacceptable and you all need to grow up. You act as if you are entitled and when you don’t get your way – you throw a stomping little tantrum to bully others into giving in to your cause. The sad part of it is – the majority of the people in this land (America) have become so offended and so afraid of Offending that it is easier to fall into the crowd rather than stand up to the crowd. Everyone wants something for nothing and they all want their 15 minutes of fame – Good, Bad or Indifferent. People have stopped standing up for what is right! They have looked the other way thinking, Whew, glad I didn’t get caught up in that mess.

The national consensus is as divided as it has ever been. We have lost sight of God and our faith is so far recessed that we cannot make clear minded, level headed decisions. We “ACT OUT” instead of using our hearts and minds. What happened to us people? You think that the Government is against us and there is some sort of conspiracy against you.

Everyone likes Sausage but nobody wants to know “HOW” the Sausage is made. We just want the final product to taste good.

Allowed and Rejected

Now as far as the 22 year old Woman who climbed up the statue to help pull it down. This Young Person who was never really directly involved with or impacted by Slavery. She has been arrested and she should be held accountable for her actions. She destroyed something that she really knew nothing about. Just what others have influenced within her. She jumped on “the cause” and she listened to others. Remember, Hitler was a Genius – he was able to get thousands and thousands of people to do his bidding. You think this is just an isolated incident? What about Kim Jong-il, Lenin, Hussein, and Charlie Manson. See the pattern here. These cold-blooded leaders did not care for the value of life as much as they did achieving their own selfish motives of domination, power, and immortality. We are quickly becoming just like them! We all have it in us to do bad things. Scripture says that we are born sinners and that we are by nature sinners.

Holy Bible on wooden table.

Holy Bible on wooden table.

They say that it takes compassion for humanity, love for country; and a strong pursuit of justice and mercy to become a strong and respected leader. President Trump was tasked with a job that no one else could handle any better. Let the man do his job. The job that WE gave him to do. Just because you don’t like his methods doesn’t make him a bad leader. Again, nobody really wants to know “HOW” we make the sausage!

We are all searching for something. We get some answers along the way. We make good and bad decisions – but we haven’t quite found our way yet. That’s the typical exploration of anyone who is on a path to somewhere, but the destination is not in sight yet.

The more I write about this the more I get fired up! (but here’s the difference – I don’t have to stand in the street screaming or pull down statues of Martin Luther King to get my point across).

My roots are as diverse as this country. My father and his side of the family were from Kentucky but my Mother and her family were from Wisconsin. North and South combined and United  – they made a family. We love each other, we disagree with each other, we help each other but we are still a family. We don’t think any less of either side. Now 49 years later, I have family spread all over this country. From North to South and East to West – by Blood and by Marriage – complied of  different Ethnic Groups, black, white and Hispanic. I have roots that extend back from Norwegian, German, American and Sweedish. So what does that make me? I was born and raised in the United States of America and so were my Parents and Grandparents. So I consider myself American. Should I self-identify with my German heritage, should I self-identify with my Norwegian heritage? No – I am American. I’m not African American as a lot of people claim to be, I’m not a Sweedish American nor am I German American. All of these peoples Parents and Grandparents were born here in the US too just like me. We are Americans. We have a duty to God and our Country.

Mark my words – there is coming a day – where there will be another all-out Civil War followed by a true Revolution of sorts. Not just some pissed off people who want something for nothing.

Remember – God won’t Bless No Mess!

Praying

Durham, Charlottesville – Hatred, Racism and YOU…..Part Two

Durham, Charlottesville – Hatred, Racism and YOU…..Part Two

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In the United States of America, we have so many different ethnic groups and by rights, we should embrace our heritage. I understand that the People of Color went through a period of Slavery, yes it was an awful time for their ANCESTORS! From the time I was about 10 years old, I have lived in the South. So by rights I am a Southerner. But does that make me a Racist – does that make me responsible for Slavery? Does that make me hate Black people? No it certainly does not! I choose to respect others, and love all people. And in my faith – as we all stand before The Judgement Seat of Christ – we are all one and the same – His children created in His image who must answer for our own actions – not the actions of our family members.

I have attended Black Churches, White Churches and the Preachers and Pastors all preach the same thing. Now I get it – I am but one person. I cannot and do not speak for all of the White people. But I can tell you this – there is just as many Racists in each Ethnic Group as the other. Skin Heads, Panthers, White Supremacists, Black Live Matter, White Lives Matter, Chicanos, and Latinos,

All People have some sort of Heritage that is associated with them. It should not define us as people. In this part of the world it is Southern Heritage.  Perceptions of the Confederate flag depend upon context. At a national cemetery or national battlefield it is seen in the historical context of the American Civil War. At popular re-enactments of that war’s events, or in films like “Gettysburg” or “Gone With the Wind”, it is seen in a theatrical context. In the television series “The Dukes of Hazzard” the flag on top of Duke boys car has been seen as a symbol of a non-racist Southern spirit by millions of viewers internationally. To those 70 million of us whose ancestors fought for the South, both Black AND White, it is a symbol of our family members who fought for what they thought was right in their time, and whose valor became legendary in military history. This is not nostalgia. It is our legacy. The current attacks on that legacy, 150 years after the event, are to us an insult that mends no fences nor builds any bridges.

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It is obvious that some racists have appropriated and desecrated the Confederate battle flag for their pathetic causes but we must never lose sight of our Heritage. As Christians we fly the Christian Cross – does that make us Racist? We as Americans fly the American Flag – does that make us Racist? So where does it start and where does it stop – It begins and Ends with You. You and only You can choose to love or hate. You choose to like and dislike, to hear or be heard. You choose to start or Stop. Where do you fit in?

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued a statement Tuesday calling for the removal of more Confederate monuments. He also said that “I don’t pretend to know what it’s like for a person of color to pass by one of these monuments and consider that those memorialized in stone and metal did not value my freedom or humanity,” he said. “Unlike an African-American father, I’ll never have to explain to my daughters why there exists an exalted monument for those who wished to keep her and her ancestors in chains.”

Furthermore, Cooper said that “he will also urge the legislature to defeat a bill that grants immunity from liability to motorists who strike protesters”. Really?? What the Hell are you thinking Roy Cooper? I mean that is a BS way of copping out. Talk about Not Standing up for what is Right. You are supposed to be our States Leader. Enforce the enforceable, defend what is right. Clearly, what these people are doing and have done is illegal. They should be arrested, charged and held responsible for their actions. Instead of bowing down and trying to be popular so that you may win another election, take the high road, do the right thing and do your job. These people need to realize that there should be a time in their life that they have to grow up. Realize we are not who we were 100 years ago and that the people of today have learned a thing or two over the years. I’m sorry if you are offended that I don’t like you – but wait – you don’t like me either – it’s just a fact of life. Get over it and get on with it! Try to rush my vehicle and beat me out of it and watch what happens – you will get run over. I’m not going to stop my car, let you break my windows and pull me out, beating me to near death – and neither would you Mr. Cooper! Our Government needs to quit being an “Enabler”.

Racism exists in every Ethnic Group in the USA. Red, Yellow, Black, Brown and White. It is not just something White people or Black people do. Sadly it is something that unites us. We share this in common. But again, shave off all of our skins and see if you can tell the difference.

Ok, so now if you have read all of my last two posts, I’m sure that you have already formed your own views and opinions about me – you probably think that I’m a racist, a hater, an activist. Well you would be sorely mistaken. I love Black People, I have Black people in my family. I love Mexican People, I have Mexican people in my family. I love White people, I am white. I love me and I love you! So what? If you peel off your skin and peel off my skin – we are just the same! We are people – we are the Human Race!

It is 2017 – don’t you think it’s time we all grow up and learn to get along. Yes we all have different views and opinions but this is exactly what Martin Luther King once preached about. Equality, Love, Understanding and Forgiveness. God Bless the USA and God Bless its People!….. which hey – includes YOU!

Peace Love and Understanding

God vs. Aliens

Something we all need to think about!!!!!

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I’ve been really puzzled by a recent theme here lately.

No, not our culture’s questionable obsession with unicorns, or the fact that our White House is turning over faster than a round of tequila shots on Cinco de Mayo.

I’m confused about society’s recent preoccupation with….aliens.

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And if you think that was out of left field, well, so did I.

I mean, I feel like in the last year, we’ve just collectively, as a society, adopted this fixation with aliens! – Just scroll through the Netflix Options, and I swear – 1/3 of the shows have to do with aliens! Stranger Things, Alien Invasion, The X Files, Continuum, Signs, I mean, the list goes on and on.

This stuff is crazy – Tall Greys, Reptilians, The Andromedan – I mean, I did one Google search after listening to a podcast, and daaaang there’s a lot of wild stuff out there.

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The New Bed

The New Bed

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Ever since I got out of Law Enforcement in 2005, I have made it my goal to always be there for my children and I can brag a bit and say that I have accomplished just that. Every time they want or need, I am there for them. I am involved in their lives on a daily basis and I wouldn’t want it any other way. At the end of the day, I don’t have to ask myself, “I wonder what my kids have been up to”. I have long said that, “If you want to know what your kids are doing, get involved”. After all, it is YOUR job to raise them – not someone else’s. They cannot be left to figure life out on their own without some sort of guidance.

When I was in Law Enforcement, I worked a lot and was gone most of the time and I missed my oldest son growing up.  I know – I know, my fault and my choice, not someone else’s! I was young and life was all about me at the time. I missed ball games, school functions, family dinners, yeah I was a real looser as a parent and a husband – But I was great at my Job. I think that was the only thing that I took seriously back then. Late nights, Badge Bunnies, loneliness and a desire to feel more and more love and companionship overwhelmed me and after 15 years of working, being gone and fighting with my wife, we divorced soon thereafter and parted ways – What I didn’t expect was to lose my son in the process. I made this bed and now I had to lay in it.

I remarried shortly after when I found my Sandy – Sandy was just what I needed to teach me what life, love and family was all about. She had me – hook, line and sinker from the get-go and it seemed as if I had no control as to how far and how fast our relationship progressed. We were destined to be together and nothing was going to stop us. We even tried calling it off a couple of times in the beginning but that never worked out. We just couldn’t walk away from each other and our love seemed to be on fire from the very start. From the very start – I knew I wanted that kind of life and I knew that I had a lot of repairing and changing to do within myself – and my son. Then we had Ivy and my life changed dramatically!

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To date for the past 14 years, I have been there – I have been to every one of my daughters Softball games and Volleyball games and even helped coach some. I pick her up from school, I ask her each day how her day was and I tell her that I love her more than 20 times a day it seems.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love my boys! I am just as involved with them and they know that I love them but there is something about that little girl and the way she says “I love you Daddy” that just makes me turn into Jell-O. She has me that’s for sure and she knows it too. Good, bad or indifferent, she has me and being the baby (just as I was), seems to get her a free pass on some things or at least more leniency. It drives my boys and my wife crazy. I know I spoil her but she doesn’t act like an “entitled little brat” either. She knows her limitations and just how far to push.

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So I have said all that to set the stage for my story – Yesterday, my 13 year old “little girl” – asked me to design and build her a new adult sized loft bed. You know the kind with a couch or seating area underneath.  Something a little more sophisticated for a growing young woman. WAIT – WHAT – MY Little Girl is Growing Up???  My heart kinda swelled and then broke a little at the same time. Of course I was honored when she asked me to build her a new loft bed and I have always been handy when it comes to working with wood, in fact, it is my hobby and I love to build things.

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So I spent the latter part of last night looking up loft bed plans and trying to design a suitable living/sleeping area for my daughter – something that would reflect the love that I have for her and the pleasure that I felt in being able to make her something that she would enjoy and be proud of. My mind is racing at the prospects and I am still looking for that perfect plan but I will be starting this project soon. I can’t wait to see the look on her face when I get it all set up. I think I am more excited than she is.

A Little Girls Story….

A Little Girls Story……..

WARNING – First off I want to warn you that this post is very raw and may touch a nerve. Reader discretion is advised….. I really feel that this story needs to be told – if not for the child, then for other children or parents that may need to hear this – My heart breaks as I begin to write this – WARNING….

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As some of you may know, I have an older Brother and this story relates to him and his granddaughter. His youngest son was married to this girl and they had a daughter which is now 12 years old. In the beginning, this little girl was full of energy, beauty and pure innocence but at some point during their marriage, the son and the wife realized that they were very toxic for each other and decided that it would be in their best interest if they parted ways, They finally split up a few years ago and both have remarried now. The mother and the child moved in with her new husband and have lived in Henderson, NC for the past four or five years now- they even had a new baby together. During the course of the last few months, we (the family) have learned that the 12-year-old girl has been sexually molested and raped by her stepfather repeatedly for the past two years.

My brother had noticed that his granddaughter was acting out, the mother, who is less that anything fit to be called a mother, had been back and forth with the father of the child trying to pawn her off and get her to move in with him. The father, with a new baby himself and two other children said he had no room for the oldest daughter. After some time, my Brother and his wife took the 12-year-old child in to live with them and that’s when “Pawpaw Bill” found out what was really going on. The child complained of pain, sickness, was acting out and just plain disrespectful at times. My brother told me that the child asked him one day about keeping her safe from the nightmares and bad things which triggered him into further questioning the child. That’s when the child came out and told him of the horrors that had been going on. The child reported that the stepfather would come into her room and make her touch him, kiss him, and he forced her to let him touch her. The child described in detail of the stepfathers’ anatomy and distinctive marks. We also learned that the mother of the child was in the home when some of these things were going on.

Can you imagine the awful feelings that this child had knowing that something this terrible was happening to her and that her own mother was in the next room and not being able to say anything.  The psychological torment, torture and terror that she had to experience without someone to talk or to tell would be unbearable. Upon reflection, I feel the rage building up again for the pain that she has gone through but at the same time, I feel the joy that she must have had when she was moved out of that situation and put in a safe place. About three weeks ago, my brother brought her to my house for a quick visit and I have to say that she looked amazing. It had been quite some time since I had seen her last and she came up to me and said – “do I remember you?” I reassured her yes sweetie and gave her a big hug and she immediately felt at ease. She then turned to her Pawpaw Bill and said, “can I go play now?” which of course just thrilled her and you could see the happiness was starting to come back while she was playing with my daughter and some other kids that were over for the day.

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Fast forward to this past week, my Brother called and told me that Joe had been arrested this past Saturday in Henderson and that his wife was yelling at the police and was trying to get them to let him go. Apparently she is on his side and believes that he is innocent. Even after Physical Examination by a Doctor and verified that she had been assaulted and raped over an extended period of time. Even after Police Investigations and interviews with the child, this “mother” remains by his side while the child is left thinking that this is somehow her fault and that her mother doesn’t believe her or even love her.

During the investigations, it seems that Joe, the stepfather, was “having his way” with the child and performing sodomy, fellatio and even full penetration and rape of the child over the course of two years. Multiple times this child had to endure pain, anguish and terror inflicted by another human being that was supposed to be in charge of, taking care of and providing for her. A person who she should be able to feel safe with and depend on in a positive way – one to always keep her safe – yet he is the one that she had to fear the most. On top of it all, she felt that she could not tell anyone, especially her own mother who lived in the same house.

There are so many circumstances to this sad story and so many questions that cannot be answered like, why didn’t she tell her father or her Pawpaw?, why didn’t she just tell a teacher? Why didn’t her dad pick up on the fact that something was wrong? Why did it take so long for someone to realize that this child was not the same as before. I can tell you a factor or two in it all and that is that the child was used as a pawn between several people to get their way, there wasn’t enough parental involvement in the day-to-day activities with this child. There wasn’t enough love in the homes between her dad and her mother and there was never any home training for the child. She simply didn’t know what to do. She had no guidance in her life and was allowed to do whatever she wanted until it finally broke her in such a way that will affect the rest of her life.

She will forever be different now and in many ways changed for the worse. As far as trusting, loving, or enjoying another person or even becoming a mother herself one day (if that is even possible after what she has endured), will not be an easy task for her and may lead her to a life of depression, eating disorders, self-harm or even suicide…..the list goes on. Without the proper nurturing, guidance, love and support, she will have a very rough and troublesome life and I fully blame the parents. I blame the parents for allowing the innocence of this sweet young child to be taken away. I blame the parents for not “raising” up this child in a positive environment and keeping her safe at all costs over their own wants or needs.

So now, this creature has been arrested and is being held with no bond in the Vance County Jail awaiting court appearances and undoubtedly a bond reduction hearing. If I know the Court System like I used to, this scum will be out in a matter of days and surely they (the mother included) will try to strong-arm and influence the child in some way. Now I have talked with my brother about Lawyers, Domestic Violence Protection Orders and even a Guardian Ad Litem but apparently the District Attorney’s Office and or the Vance County Clerk of Court cannot agree on what steps to take next so I fear that this child may be on her own. My brother has vowed to be her guardian and protector and to do his very best to save her from what is to come. I truly hope that she finds some form of peace within and that her Perpetrator is adequately punished.

My take away on this whole ordeal is that……. I want parents and guardians to know that this type of crime happens every day to men, women, and children.  You never know what someone is going through but we always need to be vigilant and look for the signs – to always be there to lend an ear or a heart to someone who may be in need of help. I want the children to know that it is not their fault. They did not do anything wrong and it is not ok for people to do these things to them.

This type of crime happens in all classes of families from the richest to the poorest, from the south to the north – in the Country and in the City. Evil is in our nature but God gave us the choice and the Will to do the right thing.

What if it were your 12-year-old Daughter??

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Food for thought … and the people in our lives.

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Life Shouldn’t Be A Brick Wall……..

Food For Thought…. and the people in our lives.

Being brutally honest — Change sucks – especially at times when it comes to the people in our lives.  Just when you feel comfortable, safe and secure in your “atmosphere”, out of the blue it happens. You don’t even see it coming – poof – change – Some good, some bad but almost always totally unexpected. You’re not ready for what’s to come, it probably hadn’t even crossed your mind but you are totally blindsided and it sends you reeling in the opposite direction. Nothing is ever guaranteed in our life, except death.

It is inevitable – people come and go, in and out of our lives constantly. Most people you can count on to stick around for longer periods of time but there are several throughout our lifetime that just seem to disappear into the darkness. For whatever reason, be it life, love or circumstance. It happens, they don’t mean to cause hurt or hard feelings and in reality, most of the time, they do not even realize what has happened until it just hits them one day – “whatever happened to so and so” and then fades back into the memories of our mind.

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People come into our lives showering us with their presence, a new common bond or thread, a new feeling or experience. Some of these people last for years and years and in actuality by the time you reach your golden years, you can count on one hand how many true friends that you have had throughout the years. Sad – I know but true. People call us their friends and even at times they truly mean it but as time goes on, their friendship fades and diminishes over time.

Human nature dictates our future it seems and unless we have a firm grip on our convictions, we lose ourselves along the way. I have been family, I have been a friend, an enemy, a lover, a son, a brother, a husband, a Dad , laughing-smiley-face-emoticon-RcA6KpMRi but through it all I have been me. I have been real, I have been fake, I have loved and I have been loved. Just like the rest of us here on this great big rock that we live on. We all acclimate to our surrounding in some form or fashion and try to fit in the best that we can. We must always remember – that we are all human; we make mistakes and bad choices. We try to learn from the negative and correct it and strive to make us a better people.

Sometimes in a relationship, people leave us or choose to be with others instead and that most oftentimes hurts – a lot. Others – well not so much. The cause varies and people move away, they find other friends or choose activities that do not resonate with you and they move on. They get busy, they get different jobs, they develop other interests and sometimes relationships grow apart at times. People pull away for one reason or another. Sometimes you understand it and sometimes it remains a mystery. And then there are some times, distance, choices or some other situation simply ends a friendship. Cuts it right on the dotted line and removes it all together.

Whatever the reason, life does move on – new people and new friends will come along with some new and unexpected experiences. Sometimes it’s not them that outgrow you but you that outgrow them. Life has a way of teaching us and exposing us to other interests throughout each season and some of these things we tend to gravitate toward instead of away from and with that come even more people who share the same interests and objectives. Life ebbs and flows constantly just like the sea and with each new “tide” bring new treasures, new experiences and new memories. Life – Live it, Love it, and then leave it for others to enjoy.

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I would like to try and live my life so that people would remember me not for all the mistakes that I made along the way but for all the good that I tried to do – Funny how life gets in the way of that. I have always been the type of person who looks for the good in people, for that silver lining. I almost always find the bad but there is still a lot of good in this world. And in this world, it’s just me and you. It is up to us to look past the hurt, the color, the negative and see the real person, see the real situation and try to make the best out of this real situation. We all need to quit making more out of certain conditions and finally become “the human race”. We all need to find that common bond that unites us all as children of God and stop all of this backstabbing, undermining and negative things in our lives – The circumstances that we have created and somehow choose to be in.

After having grown up a bit (it only took me about 30 years) I want people to know that they can count on me and even want to be around me. I want to show people that there is love in this world. I would like to always show people my best side and be there for them at all times whenever I can. I have many regrets from my youth for the way that I have treated people in my life and there have been times in my life where I wasn’t such a great person. I have never claimed to be perfect and I am sure that my actions may have even driven people away from me. Life’s experiences have taught me many things and I can finally be truthful with myself. You see – that is the key to true happiness. If nothing else – just be honest and true to yourself first, and you will quickly see just how life is not so bad after all. Just as a Junkie or an alcoholic, you must first admit your shortcomings, your mistakes and your bad choices. Then you must make a conscience effort to avoid making those same mistakes and try living your life a little more positive. One step at a time is all it takes and consistency is the key.

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