Few people have the perspective of former Tampa Bay Bucs‘ running back Warrick Dunn when it comes to violence of Baton Rouge.
Dunn’s life was shaped with violence in that city. His mother, Betty Smothers, was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty. He grew up raising his younger siblings. Years later, he visited prison to speak to the man who killed his mother.
“My heart breaks for the families and law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge who have lost loved ones,” Dunn said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I have been in similar shoes — it will change their lives and leave them reeling with questions for years to come. It is a shame. So many officers who are out there on the front lines have tremendous heart for what they do. These acts of violence don’t solve anything and if my voice can add to the movement to stop it — then I’d consider it a good thing.
“I struggle emotionally to understand why and how police officers are being targeted the way they are.”
Baton Rouge has been unsettled since Alton Sterling was killed by two white police officers earlier this month. Three police officers were killed Sunday.
“I support law enforcement,” said Dunn, who also played at FSU and with the Atlanta Falcons. “I also support the community of Baton Rouge because they were there for me and my family. If I could have any effect, I’d ask the community to stop the violence, to cool down and come together to figure this out.”