First of all, thank you to the Bradenton Herald for covering the Corey Mobley story with such balanced restraint. You have made it clear that your intent is to inform the public, not to fan the flames on either side to boost sales.
Next, I would like to commend Manatee County Sheriff Wells for allowing demonstrators to express their anger and voice their concerns without retaliation or retribution. I think this has resulted in a major step forward toward opening meaningful dialogue with Manatee County citizens who feel disenfranchised. When I first started spending time in Bradenton, it was still socially acceptable to tell racist jokes in public. I have watched that change, and I believe that Manatee County is ahead of the curve in making all citizens feel included in the community. But years of abuse towards segments of our community are not healed overnight. They leave scars that are passed down for generations. I believe that Corey Mobley is a victim of that legacy. May we all pray that his children are freed to walk a happier path.
I am writing to you, however, because of a pressing concern that haunts me after this incident. All reports I’ve watched or read about this shooting lead me to believe that Deputy Drymon acted in the best interests of the citizens. The shooting took place in a residential area. If Deputy Drymon had hesitated, and Mr. Mobley had had a semi-automatic pistol, innocent bystanders might have been shot and we would be having a conversation about why Deputy Drymon didn’t act to protect the people he is sworn to serve.
Taking a human life, even to protect other people, is a terrible burden to bear. Deputy Drymon deserves the support and prayers of the community to help him heal from this trauma.