TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Lightning player J.T. Brown had nowhere to hide when shots were fired at him during a simulation with the Tampa Police Department.
The bullets flying were blanks, but Brown was role-playing as a police officer in the Tampa Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy.
Tampa’s interim police Chief Brian Dugan invited the Lightning wing out to gain some insight after Dugan saw an image of Brown raising his right fist during the national anthem.
“I wanted to know why he did it and what was he thinking,” Dugan said.
Brown was following the path of NFL players who have knelt or sat during the anthem in protest to raise awareness of police brutality and racial injustice.
He says after his experience with the Tampa Police Department, he has a better understanding of the dangers police face every day.
He captioned a video (above) of the encounter on social media saying, “I wasn’t ready for this traffic stop
Dugan said he wanted the men who came out to experience the decision-making process that cops make every day. He added that they learned a lot and had a good time with it.
“I think it was a good first step to build the dialogue and get people talking about the issues out there,” Dugan said.