MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Video of a birthday surprise for a little boy in Bartlett this month went viral. The gift from his mom, and from local police, provided joy and a powerful message.
Seeing Bartlett Police roll up on his street was a birthday dream come true for 5-year-old Jayce Chatmon.
“He’s been asking me every day when I pick him up from school if we can go to a police station or if he can sit in a police car,” Jayce’s mom Sequoria Wilson told WMC Action News 5, “when he sees officers he always asks if he can see their handcuffs or if he can say something on the radio.”
Sequoria says her son wants to be a police officer when he grows up. Jayce, modeling his police utility vest for us, complete with a Gerber tool, explained why.
“Because the officers get the bad guys,” he said smiling widely.
When Sequoria asked Bartlett Police if they could come out for a visit, BPD didn’t hesitate. The birthday parade of squad cars pulled into the family’s cul-de-sac with officers delivering gift bags to all the children and some of the kids giving hugs in return.
“It was great seeing the kids excited,” Sequoria said. “I felt very good seeing Jayce excited because that’s something he’s wanted to do for a long time.”
Sequoria says Jayce doesn’t fully understand yet the political and cultural implications of George Floyd’s death or Breonna Taylor’s in this tumultuous year. Those lessons will come.
“It’s important to explain to him,” Sequoria said, “and for him to understand how the world is, but also for him to know that he shouldn’t let that stop him from doing what he wants to do.”
Right now, Jayce enjoyed a ride in a squad car and talking on the loudspeaker.
“Mom, I love you,” he shouted into the mic as the police parade pulled onto his street one final time.
“I love you, too!” she replied, waving from the family’s front lawn.
A proud, loving Mid-South mom who gave her son a birthday present that could have a lasting impact on him and their community.
“I want him to know all police officers aren’t bad,” she said, “And I think it’s important that we have more people that look like us on the police force. You know, if we want to create change, we have to be a part of the change.”