LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Thursday, Dynamite White put up a Black Lives Matter sign to replace his business’s ad, but by Friday, it was stolen. While the former military cop filed a report with the Lawton Police Department, he said he wishes they could have done more.
“Being prior law enforcement myself, I was a military policeman in the United States Army, I just feel like the Lawton Police Department could have given this a little more attention because it is deserving, especially considering all that’s taken place in the world surrounding the Black Lives Matter,” said Lawton Handyman owner Dynamite White.
White says his sign was never meant to be political.
”I wanted to put up the sign again to help inspire the people here in Lawton that are from the same race as I am,” said White. “Also, I am a prior military soldier. We were fighting for the rights of people outside of the country. I come back home and we see our people still suffering and not having the same equal rights as folks.”
To White, advocating for Black Lives Matter became more personal after his close friend’s son had an altercation with the Lawton Police Department. Kimberly Durbin, White’s former employee, described her son as an amazing kid.
”He’s always happy, you know, go lucky,” said Durbin. “He just wanted to make everybody happy. To help anybody that he could, he was a great kid.”
Her son, Brent Durbin-Daniel, had two wrecks where he suffered some head injuries. Durbin said he’d been suffering from depression since his wrecks.
Local officers shot Brent Durbin-Daniel six times last year. One of the shots hit his forehead. He was unarmed.
Durbin got a tattoo last year to honor her son’s life.
”This is his actual heartbeat when he was in the hospital. Brent, his birth date of birth and date of death had this done a year ago in remembrance of him. So just it’s really devastating that, the police should handle situations differently.”
White says he remembers Brent as a 19-year-old kid who was kind to everyone and always spread his light. While White said he never experiences extreme racism in part due to Lawton’s diverse community and Fort Sill, he has to keep advocating for Black Lives Matter and against whoever stole his sign.
”If I have to replace that sign 1,000 times I want whoever did it to know that we’re not going away,” said White. “Black lives do matter, and here in Lawton, Oklahoma, we’re not going away.”
White already ordered a replacement sign and says he will install it as soon as he can.