Police Chief leads department in ‘Food Sharing Day’ for community, BrotherSoul Film documents day

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KEY BISCAYNE, FL – The Chief Press Foundation and BrotherSoul Films are at it again. If you haven’t heard of either of these groups, you can check out Law Enforcement Today’s previous reporting on them, or read the second half of this article.

The Chief Press Foundation was founded in 2004 and is run by the Chief of the Key Biscayne Police Department, Chief Charles Press. 

The Chief’s vision for the foundation was to raise funds to purchase toys for children and turkeys for senior citizens at Christmas time in Liberty City, a predominantly black, inner city neighborhood known to be the most dangerous part of Miami.

Last Saturday, the foundation held what they call a Food Sharing Day. This is where officers and volunteers get together and hand out frozen turkeys, fresh produce, and toys for children to members of communities in need.

On a Facebook post, the foundation said:

“To see Key Biscayne residents with Liberty City residents, and be able to supply the community to receive the resources they needed, is the mission here at our Foundation. During these times of the Coronavirus, we should be in the giving spirit. It’s bigger than us!”

Saturday’s event was deemed a success and over 100 families were provided with much needed healthy foods. Not to mention the positive interaction between the community and police that is much needed in our nation, especially during this pandemic.

Also in attendance were the men behind Brother Soul Films. Clervoix Watley and Will Fonch are in the business of using different forms of art to bring joy and positive messages to their communities.

 

The team captured the event and made the beautiful video above to commemorate it.

In the video, Chief Press says:

“This is a very special day for us today. As you can see, behind me, a lot of worker bees getting ready and packing bags filled with food. We’ve got turkeys, we’ve got chicken, we’ve got toys for the kids. It’s just all part of the continuing work for the Chief Press Foundation. Helping families out in Liberty City.”

The Chief continued:

“The real blessing is, once again, bringing cops and community together and talking about the change in conversation. We know how bad we need it.

So I can’t say how proud I am of the Key Biscayne community, coming through for me, as they always do. God bless everybody.”

Of course, volunteers were wearing masks.

This is the kind of event that police should be striving to bring to their communities. These are the types of videos that our media should be pushing out. The anti-police narrative is dangerous and needs to stop.

People like Chief Press and his department, as well as the good people at BrotherSoul Films are the kind of people that are going to bridge that gap and get our nation back to where it needs to be in terms of a positive relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Whatever color those communities may be made up of.

Once again, Law Enforcement Today is grateful for everyone involved in the Food Sharing Day. Keep up the good work, gents!

In case you missed our previous reporting on these wonderful men, here it is again.

In a time where media perpetuates a cycle of hatred towards police, and social justice “warriors” do their part to rip at the seams the very fabric of community, law, and order that holds our nation together, I bring you a breath of fresh air.

It’s in the form of a poem, called “Blue Skin” by Will Fonch. The poem has been made into a music video, directed by Clervoix Watley, produced by BrotherSoul Films, and features members of the Key Biscayne Police Department in Florida.

The goal of the poem and the film is this: To change the narrative of law enforcement in America. To humanize the police. To honor those who have fallen in the line of duty.

The project started with the Chief of the Key Biscayne Police Department, Chief Charles Press. Chief Press started an organization in 2004 within the Key Biscayne Community Foundation (KBCF), called the Chief Press Foundation.

Police Chief leads department in 'Food Sharing Day' for community, BrotherSoul Film documents day
BrotherSoul Films in partnership with the Chief Press Foundation, Key Biscayne Police Department.

The Chief’s vision for the foundation was to raise funds to purchase toys for children and turkeys for senior citizens at Christmas time in Liberty City, a predominantly black, inner city neighborhood known to be the most dangerous part of Miami.

Now, 16 years later, I’d say he’s done that and more.

Yes, the foundation is able to provide hundreds of children a present at Christmas, which may serve as the only gift they get. And yes, they provide turkeys for hundreds of senior citizens so they can have a full Christmas dinner with their families.

But, more than that, Chief Press and his officers personally deliver the toys and the turkeys to Liberty City residents. These interactions within the community provides positive police interactions that otherwise wouldn’t have been afforded to them.

The Foundation now puts on other events, like Christmas in July, where kids are offered a full day of fun, food, and activities, and then given uniforms, shoes, and school supplies for the school year.

Another example is Liberty City Tennis and Golf Day, where the children are taught the two sports and enjoy playing all day, and then sent home with a sports bag full of themed goodies.

Chief Press and the Foundation are doing great work in Liberty City. Every day there are hundreds of examples of police officers going above and beyond their duty. They’re real human beings. They care about the people they meet.

They go the extra mile to try to bring some good into the communities they serve. But the media doesn’t show that side of law enforcement.

Police Chief leads department in 'Food Sharing Day' for community, BrotherSoul Film documents day
BrotherSoul Films in partnership with the Chief Press Foundation, Key Biscayne Police Department.

Enter spoken word poet Will Fonch (29-years-old) and Director Clervoix Watley (34-years-old), two black men who have had both positive and negative interactions with police.

The men were inspired by Chief Press and his work within the community, as well as his influence within their own lives.

I had a chance to speak with Clervoix on the phone. He told me that he grew up in “the ghetto” and most of his childhood friends were in and out of jail. They were not fans of law enforcement. His father died when he was 2 years old, and his brother, Brian, who is 13 years older than him, stepped up to be a father figure in Clervoix’s life.

A few years after their father died, there was a break-in in their home. The children hid in a closet and were terrified. After the incident, Brian decided that he would never again be in a situation like that where he was hiding defenseless and fearing for his own life or his brother’s.

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

So, he became a cop. He joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation and became a bomb technician based out of Florida.
Clervoix met Will at a church they both attended in Miami Gardens.

Clervoix is majorly into the arts and he enjoys scouting talent. He was mesmerized by Will’s ability to create art through his spoken word poetry, and the two joined forces to create documentaries on nearby Liberty City.

Clervoix said their local news reported that 900,000 bullets were fired last year just in the small inner city neighborhood.
He said it’s the type of place where “if you’re not from there, you just don’t go. It’s a warzone there.”

That didn’t stop he and Will from doing their projects and documentaries and reaching out to Liberty City community members. This is when they met Chief Press. They got to know him through their mutual services. Chief Press reached out to them and sponsored BrotherSoul Films.

Police Chief leads department in 'Food Sharing Day' for community, BrotherSoul Film documents day
BrotherSoul Films in partnership with the Chief Press Foundation, Key Biscayne Police Department.

Will wrote “Blue Skin,” and he and Clervoix decided to make it into a film. Here’s what the group said about the piece:
“Police officers across the country are discouraged, detested and/or dying at a fast rate, especially in the lens of our society’s national media. Perspective on law enforcement fluctuates with every emerging mainstream story on police brutality.

“These constant visuals make our officers seem less human and rob them of their positive influence. Many members of law enforcement are not highlighted in the media for their good deeds, but rather for the bad.

“The narrative that is publicized overshadows the reality, especially in the African American community.”

Police Chief leads department in 'Food Sharing Day' for community, BrotherSoul Film documents day
Will Fonch_Facebook

“Narrating the lyrics of the poem is Will Fonch, boldly proclaiming the message of forgiveness for all cops, rather than the typical justice that perpetuates the cycle smoke screening the cops that do well and suffer so much beyond their badges.

“This piece was inspired by the influence that Chief Press has over Fonch’s and Clervoix’s personal lives as they have witnessed his heart toward his community and having the will to even lay his life down for his brothers.

“The amount of police departments that are holding their officers accountable surpasses what is portrayed in the media and we strive to highlight those that fight the good fight. The poetic masterpiece entitled ‘Blue Skin,’ intended to humanize all police, was born.”

When Will and Clervoix started this project, their friends who dislike law enforcement questioned them. Clervoix said:

“They called cops pigs and crackers, I said what about my brother, he’s a cop and he’s black. They didn’t care, they said he is a cracker too.”

The friends went on to tell Clervoix that they didn’t need police, they could handle keeping themselves safe with their own guns.

Clervoix stated, “A line has been drawn in the sand. We all have to choose our sides.”

Not only did their friends begin to shun them, but so did their sponsors. The men were told to drop the Blue Skin project or they would pull funding. When they refused, the sponsors did just that.

“It’s disgusting,” Clervoix said. “They [police] just want to come home alive and people don’t see it like that.”

We at Law Enforcement Today are thrilled to be able to share this project with our followers. This is a wonderful project by people with huge hearts and we sincerely hope and pray that their message resonates within communities, law enforcement and otherwise.

Thank you, Will. Thank you, Clervois. Thank you, BrotherSoul Films.

Folks, let the healing begin.

The video of the poem’s reading can be found on Youtube. It begins with a few chilling scenes from officers’ body cams, and then shows the following statistics:

-The National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund said that 144 federal, state, and local police had been killed in the line of duty by October in 2018, a 12% increase over the 129 who died in 2017.

-7-19% of police officers experience symptoms of PTSD, compared to 3.5% of the general population.

-According to the FBI, from 1980-2018, an average of 85 officers were feloniously killed per year.

It’s a shame some people will always see you as the last bad news story they’ve heard.
One minute you’re painted as ally and friend,
the next hour,

You’re painted as enemy and adversary and the entire canvas of your image is smeared.
You are asked to put aside your own personal beliefs, to protect and serve people who may not want you around, or even wish harm be done to you.

Nonetheless, your uniform doesn’t replace your humanity.
A shirt cannot bleed like skin,
A badge cannot break like bones and
An occupation is not your identity as a son, daughter or friend.

We forget that one simple routine stop can quickly become your entrance into a tomb.
So often, we make your line of duty as thin as as a tightrope waiting for you to fall into our judgment.

I know our cameras catch crooked cops creating calamity with one misjudgment but do not show regret, tears, or shame after. Bad apples are noticed more than the good.

“Good” meaning, police lights being symbols of hope.
Red and blue lights circle around on cop cars like lighthouses for people to travel to in their sea of trouble.

But now, Police lights shed shadows.
One police’s sin is everyone’s.
Bold blue badges receive battered banter

And because I am a black man in America, I shouldn’t be a blue apologist and that’s not fair because I know all cops aren’t crooked.

STILL

My rhetoric for the betterment of “my people” should be
“All Cops are systemic pieces of trash,
Ones that I should smash with a fist of solidarity, No Justice, No Peace”

And if I succeed should I really have a proud look on my face? Im sorry, but I can never KILL an officer with justice, when I know I can SAVE that same man with grace!

Why grace? Because police are more human than they are heroes, yet we crucify all the Batmans for 1 Joker.

We curse yesterday’s Superman for today’s Lex Luthor. But..

You know what item weighs more when it’s carried on your back instead of on your heart?

A police badge.

No matter your race, the choice is made everyday where it’s worn.
I’ve seen it on your back

You bear an icon as big as a backpack attached to a uniform affiliated with a task force that forces the weight of the world itself on you as you just want to come home alive

But the badge on your heart,
Thats when your blue skin turns into mine.

Husbands protect their wives, fathers and mothers police their households, guarding their children with love and authority.

By all means, officers are not sinless and weren’t meant to carry crosses, but the ones who have sacrificed their lives on duty,

They showed, They exemplify the highest standard of affection which is
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay his life down for his friends.”

To be better than brutality, means laying down the life of “F the Police” so that “Forgiving the Police” can be born.

“Blue Skin” was written by Will Fonch. It was filmed by BrotherSoul Films in partnership with the Chief Press Foundation as well as Key Biscayne Police Department.

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