I was late-night surfing the internet when I came across a hashtag #JUSTICE4JEFF.
Given the climate in the US with police vs African Americans, I assumed this would be another story of an unarmed man shot by the police with little to no justification. When I read several articles about the story, I found myself conflicted as to whether or not to sympathize with this particular fight for “justice.”
This was not the typical story where the police’s malicious intentions were explicit. This was a motorist accident in which the deceased motorist was breaking the law. 22 year old Jeffrey Price was riding a dirt bike in DC (illegal), and he was speeding (illegal), and he happened to crash into a marked police vehicle.
Don’t get me wrong. I sympathize with Jeffrey and his family. There’s no question this young man deserves to be commemorated, and his family is rightfully grieving.
Of all the blatantly unjust police killings, how can one seek “justice” when the full details of this investigation have not been concluded or disclosed? It appears that emotional people are seeking closure and can’t make sense of the honest fact that accidents do happen. Unfortunately sometimes they can be fatal.
The internet has given a voice to self-proclaimed detectives, wordsmiths, and conspiracy theorists who always corroborate the most sinister narrative rather than taking all facts into consideration. Many people are preying on any and every incident to put it under a microscope and push an agenda.
When people make a story fit the narrative they want it to have it potentially hurts the true integrity of a good agenda. I think this is the case lately with a lot of the #metoo stories surfacing. Now it seems as if activists are applying #blacklivesmatter to every black person who dies.
When do these organizations start teaching accountability? In the case of the #metoo and feminist movements, we have women readily convicting men in the court of public opinion. In that same breath, women are being encouraged to own up to the names “slut” and be sexually liberated. Anyone who says, “stop putting yourself in these positions” becomes a villain. Where’s the accountability?
In the case of #blacklivesmatter every time we see a black person in a vulnerable predicament with the law enforcement, activist groups cry racism. Where’s the accountability in making sure people are abiding by the law? But saying this makes me a self hater or a sellout right?
Demonizing people who call for accountability is a cop-out. A lame excuse why people don’t want to do everything in their power to decrease the odds of something tragic happening to themselves. Taking accountability is not meant to excuse violators of their wrong doings. It’s meant for protection and preservation of self.
Conducting ones’ self properly is not a foolproof way to avoid being sexually assaulted or killed by the police. But, when we dot our I’s and cross our T’s, our socially conscious stances are more credible. Even if Jeffrey Price was maliciously hit by a car, wouldn’t it be much easier to conclude this investigation if he wasn’t violating laws? Then, one could say, “Jeffrey was driving in a car, doing the speed limit, then the police came out of nowhere and hit him, causing him to die.”
I have read almost every press release pertaining to this case and I can’t bring myself to immediately accuse the police for intentionally hitting Jeffrey Price with a car.
The reality is, people of all colors must begin to accept accountability for our actions and how we abide by rules and laws. Whether or not the police intentionally caused Price to collide with them becomes almost irrelevant to investigators in that he was breaking the law while he was breaking the law.
It’s hard enough to get a police who DELIBERATELY, brutally murders a young, innocent black man convicted. Do protestors seriously think for one second the police department will take heed to a cry for “justice” when this incident appears to be ACCIDENTAL?
There’s no doubt police have some explaining to do when it comes to the way they treat African American people. However, I think this particular situation is not helpful to the agenda of seeking justice for people who were abiding by the law at the time they were approached by law enforcement and killed in cold blood for absolutely nothing.
Call me crazy, but it’s a little hard for me to put Jefferey Price in the same category as a Rodney King, Trayvon Martin, Alton Sterling, or any of the people who were randomly found hanging from trees in the past three months.
I am not presuming the innocence of the police. However, activist groups should be more clear in what their actual agenda is. If it’s about seeking justice, #BLM and #metoo should instill a sense of accountability and responsibility in the people they advocate for. Start with teaching people to set standards for themselves, hold themselves accountable and simply abide by the law.