It’s about as unlikely as unlikely friendships go, but Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins proved that anything can happen—with a heart of forgiveness.
Not long before the two became best friends, talking about life and working side by side in the same cafe, McGee and Collins were the classic case of archenemies. Collins was a crooked cop and McGee was a wronged man—who only dreamt of one day destroying Collins once he got out of jail.
Crooked cop Collins’ only goal was to make another drug arrest that day in 2005 when he saw the perfect victim—Jameel McGee—walking down the street in Benton Harbor, Michigan by himself. Collins accused him of dealing drugs, arrested McGee, falsified the report, and threw him in jail.
It was completely made up.
“I falsified the report. The start of that day I was gonna make sure I had another drug arrest,” Collins told CBS.
That wasn’t the first or the last time he would do that though. Collins falsified many reports, planted drugs, and put innocent people in prison. But one day he was caught and it was his turn to serve time.
He served one and a half years in jail for stealing, planting drugs, and writing phony reports. McGee, the innocent man he had accused, was set free—but he lost everything including four years of his life spent behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.
So when he was released he had only one thing on his mind—revenge.
“I lost everything. My only goal was to seek him when I got home and hurt him—that was my goal,” said McGee.
McGee got that opportunity when he ran into Collins one day—at a faith-based cafe, of all places.
The two men actually worked side by side at Mosaic Cafe, a faith-based employment agency, and McGee finally got the chance to confront the crooked cop who put him behind bars. But when they actually got face to face, it was a situation neither of them had prepared for.
Collins apologized to McGee and told him “honestly … I have no explanation—all I can say is I’m sorry.”
It turns out that’s all McGee needed to hear to melt away all the hate, anger, and thirst for revenge. He told CBS, “That was pretty much what I needed to hear.”
He forgave him and they became friends.
Such good friends in fact, that they not only work together in the same cafe, they talk about life, go to the trampoline park, and McGee has even told Collins that he loves him.
Some may find McGee’s forgiveness difficult to comprehend. The man that put him behind bars, how and why did he forgive him?
McGee says it wasn’t only for his own good he forgave Collins, neither for Collins’ own good; he said he forgave him for the sake of humankind. McGee wants to lead by example in creating a more compassionate and peaceful world—and hopes that he can inspire others to do the same and find it in their hearts to forgive.