“Going to jail and going to through the criminal justice system changed my life. How unfair it was definitely made me look at how I needed to change my life, so that I would never go through this system again. I want to make it so that the people in my family will never have to experience this. I want to be a better example for young men and my future sons. What I went through was a really bad experience.
I was eighteen years old and I was arrested for assault on a police officer. I was in Walmart with my younger brother and he had picked up an open box of Pop-Its and when we walked outside of the store, one of the security guards grabbed my brother and he didn’t announce himself as a police officer. You know, naturally, when someone grabs your family like that, you defend your family. The charges were eventually dropped but I ended up getting theft by unlawful taking. The fact that I was still charged with assault on a police officer, even though I didn’t assault a police officer or did he announce himself as such, really changed my perspective on law and justice.
Now, my mission is to better the community. I want to teach these young black men, in what they try to label as the ghetto, the better way. I want to tell them my testimony and show them a better way to live. There is a better way to live instead of selling drugs and gang banging. It’s not cool because at the end of the day, you’ll get caught up in the system. They want you to get caught up. The system was built for black men and for us to destroy ourselves. So, if we are in our communities encouraging our kids to sell drugs and join these gangs, we’re encouraging them to go to prison and be slaves for the rest of their lives. That’s pretty much what's going on in America.
My advice to the world? Man, love all people and go back to the ways of God. We’re losing God’s principles, so if we get back to that, we’ll be good. No man above the next man. As long as we do that, our country will thrive but if not, we’ll continue to fail.” - Tyrell, California