MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nine-year-old Judeah Reynolds is not old enough to watch a PG-rated movie, but yet she witnessed George Floyd die while in custody of Minneapolis police.
Reynolds was with her cousin on a walk to the store when they ran across the officers and their interaction with Floyd.
What looked like a play date between friends, is actually part of a community support group designed to help a young girl understand the power of her story.
“I was a brave girl,” Reynolds said.
She was with her cousin, walking to the corner store for candy.
“She gave me $3 and started taking me to the store and that’s when it happened,” Reynolds said.
They stumbled across an incident that was seen across the globe. It was her cousin’s video that showed the arrest and eventual the death of George Floyd.
“I saw an officer put a knee on the neck,” Reyonlds said.
Judeah and her cousin were amongst the chorus of voices asking the officer to render aid to Floyd. They watched and recorded as he took his last breath — something this 9-year-old says is impossible to not relive.
“I wake up at like four something in the morning, every time I dream about it I tell my Mom and she gives me hugs,” Reynolds said.
Those hugs are helping her heal, so did this book — Cameron Goes to School — it also made Judeah want to tell her story.
“Representation is so important in children’s books and she saw a little girl that looked like her and that made her realize it’s possible,” Lily Coyle said.
It’s this community support of publisher Lily Coyle, illustrator Darcy Bell-Myers and Mom/ author Shelleta Brundidge who will help turn Judeah’s experiences into a children’s book.
“I think stories are how we heal,” Coyle said.
This group also hopes to help the family find a permanent home as well as mental health counseling and support for Judeah.
“She was on a walk and where is she walking now and where is she going to walk in the future and a lot of people are walking for change and I feel like that is a message we can tie together,” Coyle said.
A website has been set up to help meet Judeah’s immediate needs, while her support system works to get her story out for all kids to read.
If you’d like to be a part of Judeah’s journey, click here.