By: Laura Kane
Excerpt from article: With his face pressed into the pavement, blood gushing from his forehead and the taste of asphalt in his mouth, Orlando Bowen thought he was about to die. Bowen now works with an organization that empowers youth to become leaders through sports and workshops.The CFL linebacker had been out celebrating a new contract on March 26, 2004, when he says he was savagely beaten by two plainclothes Peel police officers. The officers then planted drugs on him, he says, and charged him with assaulting police and possessing cocaine. Bowen was acquitted after one of the officers was arrested for cocaine trafficking. But he was forced to retire early due to a concussion he suffered during the beating, and the ordeal nearly destroyed his reputation and many of his friendships. Ten years later, he wants the officers to know he forgives them.Read the full article: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2014/03/30/football_player_who_was_beaten_by_cops_pens_letter_of_forgiveness.html
Excerpt from Orlando Bowen’s letter to Sheldon Cook and Grant Gervais
With files from the Mississauga News
To my brothers Sheldon and Grant, life is a game…and we can win this thing. I come to you humbled and broken, yet with a calming peace.
I apologize for blaming you for my feelings of anger, disappointment and mal intent towards you, towards life and towards the system during this ordeal. I know that this had happened for a reason and that the reason would be revealed to me in time but I began feeling sad, angry, resentful and impatient and that is not who I am.
This may sound very strange but in this game of life, we are on the same team. I want to courageously express the fact that I am thankful, grateful and forever in debt to you for this experience as it has forever changed my life. It has made me a better father; husband, brother, son and a better human being. Someone who can fully understand what it means to feel alone, broken and to feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders. More importantly, someone who truly values the incomparable significance of precious time spent with loved ones, time meeting new family members and time spent trying to make a difference in the lives of others and in this world by loving people unconditionally.
I love you guys unconditionally, wholeheartedly and I embrace you with every fibre of my being, with strength that is much greater than anything I could personally bring to the table, divine strength….I pray that you feel love like you have never felt before, love deeper than you thought were possible. I pray for your strength to deal with your pain. Please know that you are forgiven 100% and loved 99% (I’m working on that last 1 percent today). We, through this experience, have a tremendous opportunity to change lives and I am grateful for that and embrace that.
So please know that there is someone out there that cares about you, loves you and wants the best for you and your families…I want you to know that I play this game of life for you.