Police Officer Helps Comfort 6-Year-Old Girl After Cousin Is Killed by Gunfire

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It’s hard to find a satisfactory answer for “why” when a tragedy takes place. Why are people killed? Why are there natural disasters? Why is suffering such a big part of human existence?

It’s even more difficult to explain this to a child when we might not even have answers we’re entirely happy with. But the best sort of people still try.

DeCynda Brown and Ray’Ghan, a mother and daughter, were mourning on Saturday after they got news that their cousin Justin Mooney had been killed in a drive-by shooting.

Mooney had been taking care of his mother and walked outside while the drive-by shooting flew by and he was hit in the cross fire.

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When Brown heard about the family loss, she went with her mother and daughter to comfort Mooney’s mom. It’s hard enough for adults to be at the scene of the crime, but 6-year-old Ray’Gahn was visibly upset.

“We found out about Justin, and my mom, Ray’Ghan, and I went to the scene just to check on Justin’s mom, just to see what was going on,” Brown told Yahoo Lifestyle. “When we got there, Ray’Ghan was nervous.”

“Ray’Ghan was saying she was scared,” the mother continued, “and she saw the police, and she kept asking if she could speak to them. I said, ‘He’s busy,’ but she kept on asking, ‘Mommy, can I talk to him? Can I talk to him?’”

The little girl knew that she’d feel safer if she could talk to a policeman, despite all the recent strain between policemen and civilians.

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“Even though she’s young, she sees that stuff on TV, but I always tell her, ‘You never go off the judgment of somebody else; you make your own judgment of people,’” Brown said. “Every police officer isn’t bad …There are people out here, especially police officers, that are good, and they’re doing it for the right reasons.”

Fortunately, the policeman Ray’Ghan walked up to was more than willing to chat, and he got down on her level so he could talk to her eye-to-eye.

“He just started talking to her, asked her who made her bow, what school she went to,” Brown said. “He got so personal with her. He kneeled down, and they were talking for 30 minutes.”

“He was just talking to her as if he knew her. She’s very shy, so the way she talked to him and for him to stop what he was doing to talk to her, it was very nice.”

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The 30 minutes may have just been part of a shift for the cop (though the interaction was probably heartwarming for him, too), but it changed the trajectory of Ray’Ghan’s young life. She now has some big plans for her future, which she revealed during her kindergarten graduation.

“I thought she would say a dancer, or maybe a nurse, but she hasn’t had a change of heart at all,” her mother said when Ray’Ghan announced she wanted to be a cop. “It’s just something she wants to do.”

She’s had good role models to show her the way. The women in her life have taught her to be a mover and a shaker and to be kind for the sake of being kind.

“She wants to help others,” Brown said. “My grandmother and my mom, that’s what we tried to instill in her — to help others. Don’t always look for other people to do for you; sometimes you need to give back to others, and don’t expect anything from it.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking