Wednesday, October 21, 2015

#RIP Corey Jones

A Black man is killed by a police officer off of I-95 in Florida. Scratch that. Corey Jones, a drummer at his church, is killed by a non-white police officer who was in plain clothes in an unmarked car. We here at The Urban Politico were alerted to this story Tuesday morning. We read about it, discussed it in an email exchange, and took no action until today when you began reading this post late in the afternoon while wasting time at your day job.

So why the delay?

Honestly, I thought it would go away. I naively wished the story would go away. I stuck my fingers in my ear, sang La La La La La La La loudly and off key and willed Corey Jones's name to not enter my subconscious, to become a here today gone tomorrow news story I could forget in a week. But I know better. Corey Jones was in deep in my brain with all the others like him who had gone before him. So here we are today with another name, another blog post, another hashtag, another Black man slain at the hands of people who are supposed to serve and protect everyone, and the only thing the Black community has to show for it is the injustice of paid administrative leave.

The one difference between Corey Jones and the Mike Brown's, Eric Garner's, Sam Dubose's, Christian Taylor's and others is that he was probably armed when he was shot down by Nouman Raja. I say probably because Corey Jones's gun, that he bought three days before he was killed, was found at the scene, but there's no other evidence to suggest how he was holding it, or even if he was holding it at the time of his untimely death. The second amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees all people of this great nation the right to bear arms. But apparently that right doesn't truly apply to everyone.

Real Talk. If some strange man was nosing around your car after you broke down at 3:15 in the morning wouldn't you be wary of their presence? Real Talk. If you were armed while said stranger was nosing around your car after you broke down at 3:15 in the morning wouldn't you feel the least bit safer if you unholstered your gun and held it at your side? I don't know what happened in Corey Jones' final moments. No one does. Conveniently dash camera wasn't working, a body camera was not worn, and the only other witness to what transpired in the seconds Jones confronted Raja, or Raja confronted Jones, and Raja shot scared is dead.

I understand that we as civilians are supposed to respect the lights, the badge and the uniform, but in this situation there were no lights. Officer Raja was in an unmarked car. There was no uniform because Officer Raja was in plain clothes, undercover. With that said, I want to know how long was an unidentifiable Officer Raja in fear for his life from Corey Jones before he unholstered his own gun and shot the drummer who broke down on the side of the road, and was waiting on his family to come through for a ride? Did Officer Raja even identify himself? Did he ask Corey Jones to put the gun down after doing so? Or did he just unload because he felt like he had the right because he was a scared police officer? Did it ever cross his mind that maybe Corey Jones was scared of the unknown man nosing around his car at 3:15 in the morning? Does anyone ever ask what the Black man fears? Right now, I bet it's police officers.

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