SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Oklahoma University defensive back Chanse Sylvie is standing up to racism and police brutality. He recently penned an essay to his Twitter and Instagram accounts about police reform.
The essay entitled “Equal Protection Under the Law...Seeking Meaningful Steps for Reforming Policing in America," ran in the Oklahoma University student newspaper and the Oklahoman newspaper.
Sylvie, a former Calvary Baptist Academy football stand out, told us he wanted to be a part of change.
The 22 year-old has been successful in life off of the gridiron as well. He finished his Political Science degree in 2 1/2 years and is now working on his Master’s Degree in Global Public Affairs with a concentration in Security.
This season he will suit up as a red-shirt senior at Oklahoma.
As a successful student-athlete, he recognizes at the end of the day, some will only see color. “As a black person in general it doesn’t matter the stage in your life, the accolades you may receive. You could be a politician, a mayor, a governor, a star football player, a school teacher, or anything but, at the end of the day I feel like when you take off the credentials and put those accolades aside you are still seen as a black person.”
He admits, he has played out scenarios if pulled over by police, where he will try not to be antsy. “Even in the state of Oklahoma, still when I see those red and blue lights, I don’t see the “protect” aspect. I get those chills and make sure I am doing everything right. He (police) might not be having a good day. He might be on edge today.” He acknowledges that police officers have seen a lot that also put them on edge.
Sylvie says the injustices and police brutality that black people are facing is real and everyone should be concerned. He says hashtags and protests often shed light on the problem, but in the past they have been only a temporary fix. Instead he wants action after the protests. “Will we still be the same group of people disenfranchised and put down. "Or will we grow and lay a foundation?”
He is using his social media platform to reach out to those in power to help usher in change.
Sylvie highlighted four points he would like to have law enforcement to implement.
He wants to see: 1.) a lifetime ban from law enforcement on police officers who are terminated because of misconduct; 2.) civilian complaints of officers to be shown publicly; 3.) a more strict hiring and recruitment process for future officers, a national standard for hiring; 4.) independent investigations of alleged police misconduct.
This is Sylvie’s last season with the Oklahoma Sooners. He said his coaches and teammates have been very supportive of his article.
We’re listening to YOUR VOICE on race relations. Tell us the story you want everyone to hear by uploading a message to ksla.com/tellusyourstory.