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‘This is Us’ Star Lonnie Chavis, 12, Pens Powerful Essay About Racism – Hollywood Life

Lonnie moved on to his experiences with police officers, writing, “My mother was taking me to work one morning, just blocks from the Paramount Studio lot, when she got pulled over in our new BMW. The white cop approached my mother’s window and asked her, ‘Whose car is this?’ — not about her license and registration, or even why he pulled us over. I had been taught about how to behave if ever getting stopped by the police, but nothing prepared me for this. My mom was guilty of driving while Black. She had to go to her trunk for more paperwork, and I watched the cop hold his hand on his gun as if my mom was a threat. I was scared for her; I was scared for me.”

Lonnie revealed that they were pulled over three more times in Hollywood/L.A, “because we were Black in a nice car.” It became normal for Lonnie to “start recording” with his cell phone every time his mother was pulled over at a traffic stop.

Towards the end of the essay, Lonnie shared one of his most horrific experiences. “My 10th birthday fell on Thanksgiving in 2018. After coming home late with my family from my birthday party, a Long Beach police officer twisted my dad’s arm behind his back and pulled him from our doorstep with the door opened, claiming he was being detained for a traffic ticket,” he wrote. “My mother ran to my room and told me with fear in her eyes to go into my little brother’s room and stay away from the windows. She put my new baby brother in my arms and told me that no matter what I hear from our front yard to not come to the door — no matter what.”

“I held my baby brother and cried as I could hear my mother yelling outside of our home,” the young actor continued. “I thought my parents were for sure going to die going up against the police. By the grace of God, they are both still with me, and that racially motivated harassment against my father was dismissed. Can you imagine holding on to your three little brothers while thinking that you are all going to be orphans? I can.”

The purpose of this essay was to help people see what “the world looks like” for Lonnie, “a 12-year-old Black boy.” He called on policies, laws, police, Hollywood, hearts and America to all “change.” He ended the essay on a somber note, writing, “Can you imagine being me in 2020 and wondering what the future holds? I can’t.”

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