I am Jordan Edwards.

I was once a 15-year old, high school freshman in Mesquite, TX; an honor student with a bright and contagious smile, loved by my family and friends. I attended parties, in high school, that were abruptly ended by the arrival of police officers. I had unwanted run-ins with the Balch Springs Police Department, and do my best to avoid passing through that part of town en route to my old neighborhood, even to this day.

I am Jordan Edwards.

Jordan Edwards is the 105th black person to be killed by the police in 2017 (see: mappingpoliceviolence.org). Let that sink in. Every 28 hours, the very people that have sworn an oath to protect and serve, murder a black person.

Every 28 hours.

Will I, or someone that I love, be next? That is not a hypothetical question. Will I, or someone that I love, be next? It is a question that I live with every day. My heart beats almost out of my chest when I hear a siren, and the inescapable reality of this unjust system is thrust before me when I realize the siren is from an ambulance. When the blue and red lights are flashing in the night, I assume they are pursuing me, even though I’ve committed no crime.

My greatest fear is neither heights nor public speaking. I, unfortunately, am not so privileged to have such trivial fears. My greatest fear is found in the story and body of Emmitt Till, and so many others that have suffered the same fate. I most fear the unjust mutilation of my body, subsequent death and for all to take place without my family and friends being aware. I fear violently disappearing in the stillness of the night, a victim of another’s apathetic and irresponsible treatment of my life and body.

“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24 ESV)

I am angry. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am fighting against the numbness that the media hopes will settle into my spirit. I am remaining prayerful, though if I’m completely honest, not always hopeful.

I am Jordan Edwards.