Footage of a 10-year-old boy shooting hoops and then moving to hide behind a car as a police cruiser drives by has gone viral amid Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.
The young boy, identified as Eliah Pierre-Louis from Trumbull, Connecticut, can be seen playing with a basketball in the video. As a police squad car approaches, the child can be seen hiding behind a jeep and waiting for the vehicle to pass before going back to playing.
The video was shared on Instagram by the boy's father, Stacey Pierre-Louis. The elder Pierre-Louis was at work at the time but witnessed his son's reaction on their security system's camera feed.
"Debated with myself for a few days before deciding to post this," he wrote on Instagram. "I was at work watching my son shoot hoops in the driveway when I caught this. It floored me..."
Pierre-Louis notes that he and his son live in an affluent neighborhood and that his son still sees a reason to hide.
"I’ll save the dramatics, but growing up black or brown most of the time means fearing the police vs looking up to them. I live in an affluent neighborhood 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. 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 behavior at home. We stream movies so he doesn’t see the news and we don’t talk negatively about police."
The video quickly went viral online and was even shared by LeBron James.
"I get nervous when a cop passes by when I walk my dog," one user wrote. "Even at work when cops come to deal with annoying ass customers they look at me and I just put wave hi and they move on, like honestly IK not all cops are bad but still I can't get over this bad feeling towards them."
I get nervous when i cop passes by when i walk my dog, even at work when cops come to deal with annoying ass customers they look at me and i just put wave hi and they move on, like honestly ik not all cops are bad but still i cant get over this bad feeling towards them— Jordan Evans (@Jordanevans_97) June 16, 2020
While another added: "Growing up, my friends and I were the same way and it was normalized. We just always knew they were out to get us."
Growing up, my friends and I were the same way and it was normalized. We just always knew they were out to get us— All praise due to Assata🌙 (@VisionaryIb) June 16, 2020
Pierre-Louis told CBS that the video attracted a lot of support, "which leads me to believe that there is far more good in this world than there is bad. 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."
He said that watching the video left him with a feeling of "helplessness," which made him realize that "this is the reality for millions of Black and minority children across this nation and the world."
"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. Unfortunately, in the state of times and for reasons we all see daily, it makes it difficult," he added.
"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."