Unique Perspective on Policing From LA Police Officer

Films / USA

About The Film

For several years we’ve had the opportunity to tell stories for Union Rescue Mission on skid row in Los Angeles. Anyone who spends significant time on skid row working with runaways, addicts, sinners, and saints, knows of Officer Deon at the LAPD. He is a constant presence and his faith is known by many. We went in with the question: “what can we learn about following Christ from someone whose job (police officer) is often hated by the people they’re trying to help?”


We’re working to serve ministry leaders & pastors. Click to learn more.

[location: USA, length: 4:13]

The story of a police officer in one of the most dangerous places in the country.  [location: USA, length: 4:13]

For several years we’ve had the opportunity to tell stories for Union Rescue Mission on skid row in Los Angeles. Anyone who spends significant time on skid row working with runaways, addicts, sinners, and saints, knows of Officer Deon at the LAPD. He is a constant presence and his faith is known by many. We went in with the question: “what can we learn about following Christ from someone whose job (police officer) is often hated by the people they’re trying to help?”


We’re working to serve ministry leaders & pastors. Click to learn more.


Deon:
Just one block east of downtown Los Angeles is one of the most dangerous, overlooked, marginalized places in the United States of America. That's Skid Row. Skid Row is a place where horrible things happen all the time. Women and children are the most vulnerable to the crime. But you also have gang members and drug dealers who sell drugs near Rescue Missions and hinder efforts to help people in the area. This is where I work. This is where God called me to be. I believe that with my whole heart. The reality here is most people don't really like police officers. They're taught to hate us because they feel we're after them because of their social status, race or whatever. It's really hard to meet somebody you really want to help and have them reject you. Some of them hate my guts and I really, truly, honestly care about them. I try to look at people the way I think God looks at people. In spite of all our mistakes, God still loves us. In spite of all the mistakes that a lot of the people in Skid Row have made, I want to show them my love then and I want to help make their lives better. You got to get out of your car sometimes, remove your judgemental idea about who people are and what a good person should be and get out there and get to know these people. Because you'll find that even though some of them have a lot of problems, severe problems, mild problems... they're people.

Lady #1:
Let me feel them.

Deon:
How you doing? That's it, that's the real deal right there.

Lady #2:
What's your name?

Deon:
Deon Joseph. Call me Deon. They're told, police hate you, but I destroy that theory when I get out in that street. Because those folks will test you. If you say you care, they're going to hold you up to it. Okay Joseph, you care, put me in some housing.

Lady #3:
You said Deon?

Deon:
Yes, Deon. Yeah. If you're interested in some 90 day housing?

Lady #3:
Yeah, yeah.

Deon:
Okay. What I want you to do is Thursday, go see my friend...

Lady #3:
Okay.

Deon:
... she's a wonderful lady. Over time, the people see you for who you are, not what you are. They know I'm doing what I'm doing not to harass them, but because I'm for them. All right.

Lady #3:
We’ll do. Thank you.

Deon:
All right ma'am, take care. Hey, how are you?

Lady #4:
You’re a star!

Deon:
No you're a star. How you doing?

Lady #4:
Because you love the Skid Row people.

Deon:
I do. Get to know people on the individual basis. I know their names. I know when they've been sober. I know when they're high. People always ask me, how can you work here? How could you sit here all this time? My faith in God is what keeps me from packing up and leaving town. This is my assignment. It's like a driving force that keeps me having faith in this community. It says, don't let them go yet, Deon. Don't let them go.

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