June 8, 2020
Cristina is a member of the church that has claimed me. Each week since Shelter in Place, I get a little surprise package delivered on Saturday.
April 11: Cristina first texted me on this day. She first to introduce herself to me and make sure she had my address. She has been one of my faithful delivery angels from College Avenue Presbyterian Church in Oakland, California. We texted back and forth that first day; and didn’t connect in person for the drop off. By the time she arrived I left some bay leaves from my garden out for her and whomever she wished to share with.
April 18: Cristina brought my surprise package, and saw the Happy Birthday Sign a dear one had put up on my front porch for me; so she wished me a Happy Birthday!
April 25: she texted a photo of her co-pilot… trusty dog Dust’E and said “Looking forward to meeting you someday in person!” The dog was cute… I already loved Cristina and looked forward to meeting her and the dog.
May 2: I got my now happily anticipated text saying my weekly delivery from my church was coming; courtesy of Cris and Elaine with “Looking forward to meeting you in person!” We missed each other again and after the drop off she sent a text saying, “Next week! We’ll both come up the stairs. Maybe we can meet you & your kitty through the window? & your welcome!”
We still missed each other. We texted that we would plan to have a social distanced meeting soon. Other angels delivered my packages in the following week, and the week after that.
On May 20: unbeknownst to me, Cristina’s son, Stony, was killed by the Hayward Police Department. He was shot 7 times while he was unarmed in a car.
May 24: I heard during the church Zoom service that Cristina’s son Stony, age 23, was killed by Hayward Police on May 20, 2020.
My friend Monte was Pastor at Fruitvale Presbyterian Church, where he met Cristina and her son Stony; and baptized Stoney. As Rev. Monte says, “He was a good kid…. but had a gift for being in the wrong place every time.” It seems clear Stony was targeted by the police.
June 7: I saw Cristina was at church on Zoom. I had been thinking of her of her so much. After church, Cristina texted me to check in on me. “I hadn’t forgotten about our social distance meeting wave though your window on Saturday delivers… it’s been a rough few weeks…”
In the midst of her pain and grief and loss… she had dropped off my package the Saturday before worship; and was now checking in on me.
June 8: Tonight, Hayward, California had a Town Hall Meeting on Police Relations. Rev. Monte posted the links to the meeting and plea for support for Cristina and family. My Mama Bear gene is in full blown mode for my new friend. Of course I showed up.
The Town Hall meeting was startling. It was set for 2 hours and was comments only from citizens. The City Council and Police observed in silence as the community spoke out. And speak out, they did! In the past few weeks, 3 people have been killed by Hayward Police.
I heard many voices:
Voices stating the need for police reform.
Voices stating this is the first time the public hear Stony’s name; as it had been withheld instead of giving him the dignity of identification
concerns about the secrecy
stating people are watching and people are hurting.
I heard an educator speak of Cristina’s son and how he was failed by the system s many ways.
I heard a social worker speaking of police reform and sharing his own experience working with convicted felons who have been released from prison for horrific crimes; and sharing that as a Social Worker, he is able to enter their living space, meet them where they are, and deescalate, if there is such a need. He pleaded that funds in Hayward should be increased for Social Workers and Education, and decreased for policing.
Finally it was her turn. I heard Cristina speak of her grief; and beg for any information about her son’s death. To date she had received no information. She shared she learned of her son’s death in a cold way by paper sharing her son was in the morgue. She asked, why is there withholding of information? I thought the same thing.
I heard from Cristina tonight; that she, and loved ones got to visit Stony’s body today. She said he was not hurting any more and was at peace; and with Jesus.
God help us. What have we become that a son can be shot 7 times while in his car? My heart hurts for my angel friend; and for her son. I pray for his sweet resting in peace… at last. I pray for justice and for information for the family… to give them some answers.
Remember his name.
May he rest in power and in peace.