Cameron Heyward: “I don’t always feel comfortable around police officers”

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Cameron Heyward‘s one of the more popular and recognizable players for the Steelers, but he doesn’t always feel that way when he’s in Pittsburgh.

The star defensive end said during an appearance on 102.5 FM that the national discussion about police brutality and race relations stemming from the death of George Floyd resonated at a personal level with him.

“My wife is white, and we have had a talk like this, and I have had to tell her ‘I don’t always feel comfortable around police officers,’” Heyward said, via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I almost feel like I have to be to-the-book and be to-the-T. I have to make sure they know that I am not in any instance trying to make them feel threatened. I almost have to articulate even more and make sure that I want them to be safe.”

Heyward was careful to say multiple times that he believed most cops were not bad, and that “so many of them are great people and so many great cops that do a great job.” But he also recounted a story that illustrated his fear.

He said that after arriving back in Pittsburgh from a late flight, he was pulled over by police. His ID was in his wallet (which was in his luggage in the back of the car), and by the time the stop ended, three more police vehicles showed up on the scene.

“There’s been times where like there is almost like a radar in my brain,” Heyward said, “where I am like, ‘OK, I’ve got to make sure things don’t get out of hand.’ ”

He’s also frustrated with the fact only one of the four officers involved in the death of Floyd has been charged so far.

“I want these protesters to have their voices be heard,” Heyward said. “I’m all for everybody giving people a fair shake — but how those three cops were not arrested when it comes to George Floyd? It’s a spiral — and we are worrying about protesting now instead of worrying about the people who need to be arrested, get arrested.

“There are great people that protect our world, but we have racism and people not being for the betterment of our world or the betterment of every man. We are living in a screwed-up world.”

While there’s plenty of room for discussion on the sensitive topics involved, there can be no debate about his final point.

10 responses to “Cameron Heyward: “I don’t always feel comfortable around police officers”

  1. Please stop being irresponsible by labelling all police officers the same, they are NOT.

    The vast majority are good people.

  2. “I almost feel like I have to be to-the-book and be to-the-T. I have to make sure they know that I am not in any instance trying to make them feel threatened. I almost have to articulate even more and make sure that I want them to be safe.”

    Wouldn’t that fall under the heading of “respecting authority”? I am also more aware of my behavior around law enforcement. It’s not just you, Cam.

  3. “I want these protesters to have their voices be heard,” Heyward said.


    Well, hope you weren’t paying attention to DC last night, Cam. Blackhawk military helicopters hovering 30-50 ft above peaceful protesters in the middle of downtown DC. Police cornering demonstraters on residential streets and using tear gas on them, forcing them to find shelter in the houses of random people that let them in. Police attempting to agitate by chasing people who were literally just walking around demonstrating and throwing tear gas and flash bangs. Police targeting journalists. Pretty much the exact opposite of people being heard.

  4. mmmpierogi says:
    June 2, 2020 at 8:50 am

    blahblahblahblahblah, poor rioters.


    Learn to pronounce
    a regulation requiring people to remain indoors between specified hours, typically at night.
    “a dusk-to-dawn curfew”
    the hour designated as the beginning of a curfew.
    “to be out after curfew without permission was to risk punishment”
    a daily signal indicating the start of curfew.

  5. Ganttt_Hates_Me says:
    June 2, 2020 at 9:03 am

    poor attempt at a childish argument


    Peaceful protesting is rioting? You’re trying to equate the two in an attempt to either put blame on demonstrators or make their actions sound more extreme than they were, likely because you don’t like what they’re protesting over.

    Re: curfew, the police/enforcement actions started started before the 7pm curfew. This was documented in real-time, so you can see it anywhere (the mayor commented on it). Also, you can enforce a curfew without cornering people with mace, going after journalists, or using military helicopters.

  6. Experience has taught me not to be comfortable around the police and I’m not black.

    And for those of you equating peaceful protestors with rioters, you are being disingenuous.

  7. by the time the stop ended, three more police vehicles showed up on the scene.

    To be honest, he’s a big dude and if it were a situation where a person needed to be taken into custody it might take three people, or more, to perform an arrest on Cam.

    The police have a difficult job. They deal with violent criminals on almost a daily basis. They have become more and more violent and many have no problem even trying to kill anyone and even policemen during the commission of their crimes. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want to face any of those guys ever and to do it on a daily basis is something I can’t comprehend.

    However, the George Floyd situation is unacceptable. I don’t care if he’s a policeman or not. He should be charged with the same crime as an ordinary citizen would be. As far as the other three officers, same goes with them. In most states if someone is an accomplice in a crime that results in a murder that person is also charged with the crime of murder–at least accessory to murder. Those other three policemen should be charged also.

    At some point precedent needs to be set in regards to incidents such as these. It’s time for the courts to prosecute them the same as they would prosecute someone who had also committed murder. A member of law enforcement should be no difference. They need to be tried and, if convicted, punished like anyone else committing a similar crime. Yes, they have a tough job but it does not excuse what happened. Once members of law enforcement realize they are going to face serious prison time then maybe these incidents will stop occurring. This incident can go a long way to showing that these incidents are no longer acceptable and will no longer be tolerated. Because of that I think they should receive the harshest sentence possible given the charges–all four of them. That should go a long way into ensuring this kind of thing will never happen again.

    One other thing, these policemen when charged have the right to the same vigorous defense as anyone else. That is the foundation of our justice system. Like everyone else, he shouldn’t be tried in the court of public opinion or the media. All that being said, if he is somehow not convicted of that charge or a plea bargain to a lesser (but still serious charge like manslaughter) then it will be a miscarriage of justice. However, it certainly wouldn’t be the first.

  8. rodgerstonelson says:
    June 2, 2020 at 7:14 am
    Does anyone feel comfortable around police?
    I’ve never felt unsafe around the police. I was taught by my parents that if you are ever in trouble, you can always find a police officer and they will help you. If you are ever lost or scared, you can always find a police officer. Etc. When I was a kid I used to watch television shows like “CHiPs” where the police officers were the good guys. So, yeah, I am not scared of the police. You should consider the affect on your children when you teach them to hate the police. Maybe try to act a little less shocked when those same children become adults and have negative interactions with the police officers you spent your life teaching them to hate.

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