In Case The Headlines Forget……..
Corey. Jones. Stranded. Unsuspecting. Dead. Headlines across the nation, specifically those belonging to the New York Daily, read “Armed Church Musician Killed by Cop On Side of Road”. To the average reader it may have just seemed like business as usual. Black male pictured in closeup photo supplemented by carefully selected word play- implying his being unlawfully armed; shot in a legitimate officer related incident as a result. All of this nothing more than par for the course in the world of black folk and our subpar ability to turn up anything less than dead when dealing with the cops. Sadly, we’ve all been asked to wear the cloak of thickened skin when we are faced with rationalizing the injustices of unfair practices of ill equipped, anxiety riveted, law enforcement impersonators, equipped with all the tools and ammunition needed to single handedly engage in a slow and tortuous genocide of an entire human race (at least the portions and components of it deemed to cause the most unease). Our black men and women.
The headlines are equally as mercenary in its “double jeopary” approach in affixing guilt long before the facts can be examined and analyzed. The headlines systemically infect us all and plant seeds promoting even the most common sensed and pratical people into believing at first sight the undeniable guilt of those persons who lose their ability in the most permanent fashion, to tell you otherwise.
I believe, and this is strictly my opinion, that Corey had a very intimate conversation with Officer Raja even if no words were ever exchanged. I also believe that Corey had a chance, a split second, to rationalize in his mind his life was about to come to an abrupt end. If he had anything he’d want those of us left searching for answers to know it would be as follows:
I, Corey Jones, of sound mind and sound body, do solemnly swear to my right and civil liberty to have been in legal possession of a firearm. I abided by all laws and regulations set forth by the governing rules of the State of Florida. I thought having a firearm only fitting for a musician often required to travel in the late night hour. As my misfortune would have it exercising my right to own a firearm has ultimately cost me my life.
The headlines will tell you that I was armed. They will fail to remind you that as a law abiding citizen, I had the right and a permit carry a firearm. The headlines will tell you I was killed by a cop. They will fail to mention I had no way of knowing that he was. They will tell you officer Raja had no previous incidents of record. They will forget to tell you that I went my entire life without a single blemish on my criminal record. They won’t tell you I worked the same for job eight years calling out only once. They will forget to remind you that I was a dependable musician, a hallmark in my family. They will fail to mention the kids I’ve mentored, the endless amount of drum lessons I over saw, nor will they shed light of my passion for the arts. The headlines will probably brush over the facts outlining why I reached for my gun. I’ll hope you remember that I was stranded. It was early morning. I was approached by an “alleged” officer who had no uniform, no police car, and no badge. The armed suspect forgot his radio and all things remant of a law enforcement agent. I had to make a judgment call. Should you read a headline that leads with my being “armed”- please think enough of me to remind the masses I had the right to be.