When the photos of Tariq Abu Khdeir’s bloated face with blackened and swollen eyes first appeared on my Facebook feed in the summer of 2014, I quickly scrolled away from them. I had read his story: I knew he was a fifteen-year-old Palestinian American who was beaten and kicked unconscious by the police while protesting the murder and abduction of his cousin in East Jerusalem. I knew his story was not unusual, but that it had reached the mainstream media because he was an American citizen whose attack was caught on video.

When I finally watched the video of the police beating Tariq, I was snatched out of the present and into a particularly violent incident from my childhood.

It is 3 am. My sixteen-year-old sister is lying on her side on the carpeted living room floor. The dark gold carpet is divided into...

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