I witnessed a powerful moment in the halls of juvenile court today. It’s a place where cameras aren’t allowed. So I wanted to share it with you in writing.
I sat in on a trial this afternoon for the 10th teen charged in the Kroger attacks. I heard the 17-year-old victim speak about what happened to him that night, how he has nightmares when he thinks about having pumpkins the size of soccer balls thrown at this head.
Then I heard the teen suspect’s mother take the stand. She told the judge that she didn’t raise her son this way. And that he deserved punishment. But she didn’t want to see him be thrown under the bus.
Then the 16-year-old suspect took the stand. He admitted to kicking the victim to the ground. And said that he kicked him in the head because others were doing it and he was trying to impress girls.
Then the judge found him guilty of aggravated assault and turned him over to DCS for rehabilitation.
After all that you would think emotions would be high.
As we all walked out of the courtroom the victims father, Mark Sauser, was stopped the two mothers. They were in tears, saying that they are sorry for what their boys did to his son. That had their son been attacked they would be very upset.
After a hug one mother said “I wish my son was here to say he is sorry.”
“I tell him I forgive him,” Mark said.
At this point I was holding back tears.
It’s been a rough couple of months in Memphis. Fights, attacks and people saying horrible things on social media. When you cover the good and the bad in Memphis, it’s hard not to get a little emotionally invested.
Mark Sauser’s words, spoken in the hallway of juvenile court, may be the most powerful words I’ve heard in awhile.
Something to think about as we move forward from the Kroger attacks and remember there is so much more good in this city than bad.