In Benton Harbor, Mich., back in 2005, Jameel McGee said he was going about his day when he was randomly accused and arrested for dealing drugs. McGee said the accusations leveled against him weren’t true, but unfortunately, no one believed him.
“I falsified the report,” former Benton Harbor police officer Andrew Collins said. “Basically, at the start of that day, I was going to make sure I had another drug arrest.”
Collins did as he planned even if it meant putting McGee, an innocent man behind bars. McGee served four years for a crime he didn’t commit and said he lost everything due to being incarcerated. Upon his release, he claims to only have had one objective.
“My only goal was to seek him when I got home and to hurt him,” McGee said.
Eventually Collins’ unscrupulous ways caught up to him and he served 18 months for falsifying many reports, planting drugs and stealing. McGee was later exonerated, and about a year after his release, McGee and Collins by sheer happenstance ended up at a faith-based employment agency where they now work together at a cafe in the same small Benton Harbor town. It was because of their cramped quarters the two had no choice but to hash it out.
“I said, ‘Honestly, I have no explanation, all I can do is say I’m sorry,'” Collins explained.
And for McGee, that’s all he needed to hear.
Collins, who was humbled by McGee’s forgiveness, said he was moved to tears.
“And I just started weeping because he doesn’t owe me that. I don’t deserve that,” Collins said.
McGee and Collins are not just coworkers or cordial, the two are now friends. McGee has spoken with several news outlets about his Christian faith and his hope for a kinder mankind. He uses his experience along with Collins to give speeches about the importance of forgiveness and redemption.
Honorable yes, but could you be McGee if placed in his shoes? Sound off.