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caption: The exact moment that the blast hit Aubreanna Inda, 26, at the demonstrations on Capitol Hill. Seattle police officers deployed chemical agents, pepper spray and flash-bang grenades on protesters at the intersection of 11th Avenue and East Pine Street on the 10th day of protests following the police killing of George Floyd, shortly after midnight on Monday, June 8, 2020, in Seattle.
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The exact moment that the blast hit Aubreanna Inda, 26, at the demonstrations on Capitol Hill. Seattle police officers deployed chemical agents, pepper spray and flash-bang grenades on protesters at the intersection of 11th Avenue and East Pine Street on the 10th day of protests following the police killing of George Floyd, shortly after midnight on Monday, June 8, 2020, in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

'You chose to carry the lantern.' Response to a Seattle protester injured on the front lines

Many readers responded to our recent story about a Seattle protester who was hit in the chest with a police flash-bang grenade, at close range, on Sunday, June 7. The blast landed her in the emergency room, where medical records indicate she was treated for cardiac arrest and faced "life threatening deterioration."

Here is a letter from a Black father in Washington D.C. , who said this young protester earned a place in his heart, published as part of KUOW's Seattle Story Project.

To: Aubreanna Inda

Dear Ms. Inda –

It is my belief every human being is born into this world with a “moral compass.” It guides us towards loving one another. However, with life experiences and learned behaviors, one encounters those times when deciding which way to go - love or hate. At times like this, it feels like humanity is in a race towards spreading hatred over love. Time and time again, it feels like America is depleting in love.

Read: This woman 'died three times' after Seattle Police hit her with a blast ball

Thankfully, now and then, someone comes along and replenishes America with more love and boldly reminds us that love is still in the race – more committed than ever. Ms. Inda, you are that someone on that Sunday evening in Seattle, you chose to carry the lantern to shine a light of love for all to see. I see you! And I appreciate you representing - truth.

Please know that I am an African American Man who encountered hatred ALL of my life, and yes, I have vivid memories as far back to age five that I wish could go away. You see, this unimaginable unjust act to George Floyd on May 25, incidents like this were common occurrences throughout my lifetime; the difference, there was no social media. Furthermore, and perhaps even more significant, not enough people cared.

I have a son who is your age, and I pray every day he is not the next victim of racial hatred. The road gets weary. I get tired. I feel shame that my son witnesses and experiences the same screenplay as his Dad, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather, and on and on. America failed to protect Black Lives for 401 years.

As a father, I understand your Dad’s reason to shield you in America; it is profoundly unfair for anyone to have to decide to choose between freedom or staying true to their heritage and skin color. But, we do what we have to do for our children. You are correct to expect the laws of this land to protect our rights. As your Dad understands and cited by Dr. King, “Negroes had been given a blank check, but the check had come back marked insufficient funds, Now it is time for America to make good on its promise.”

Your family taught you to love; I am glad they did. America is sick, but I am hopeful that people like you are fighting for a cure to save our country. The world is fighting two pandemics right now; I thank God that you are still here today after standing on the front-line for justice.

May it please you to know, I am praying on behalf of you and your family. You have earned a place in my heart.

Please do not give up the fight – Press on!

Warmest Regards,

Stewart

Data Science - Professional

Washington, DC

Editor's Note: This reader requested to only publish his last name, to protect his privacy.

The Seattle Story Project: First-person reflections published at KUOW.org. To submit a story or note one you've seen that deserves more notice, contact Isolde Raftery at iraftery@kuow.org or 206.616.2035.