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Former Seahawk on George Floyd and recognizing different realities

Downtown Seattle during weekend protests. (Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

This is an incredibly difficult time for the country, for communities, and for individuals with vastly different experiences. Former Seahawk Michael Bumpus, who is one of the co-hosts on Seahawks pre- and post-game coverage, joined the Dori Monson Show to discuss his reaction to George Floyd’s death and the protests.

“These are tough times that we’re going through, and as a black man, as a role model to my kids, as a father, I felt it was important that I spoke out because there aren’t a lot of people that I know with this little platform that I do have,” Bumpus said.

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“I think it’s important for people to realize that everyone has a different reality. Growing up in West Los Angeles, Culver City, my reality, as far as law enforcement, was that I was probably going to get messed with if they saw me, especially if I was driving,” he said. “When an officer got behind me, I was probably going to get pulled over … I thought that was normal until I left LA and experienced some other stuff.”

Was he fearful every time it happened that one thing could go south and all of a sudden he’d be a victim?

“I was fearful, but I also knew that, felt I could communicate to get out of it. But I knew that there was a risk … I don’t bash every cop, there’s good cops out there. I know good cops. I’ve just experienced a lot of bad cops,” he said.

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Bumpus said that upon watching the video of Floyd’s death, he saw a lack of humanity in the offending officer, and it’s a look he’s seen before.

“I’m looking at the eyes of this officer. There’s no, that’s not a human being under his knee. Where I grew up, you’ve seen that look. You’ve seen how we’ve had experiences where police officers just don’t look at us the same, they don’t treat us the same. They don’t talk to us the same,” he said.

“There are police officers that do, and I always want to back that up. But when I saw George down there on the ground, it hurt. I was mad. I was angry. I was confused. And at the end of it, I wasn’t surprised because that’s been happening for so long.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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