I scrolled through my Twitter feed and I saw the headline 15-year-old killed by police. I paused as I felt the lump grow in my throat as I wrestled with my emotions. 15. The number echoed in brain like I was screaming it in a valley. Screaming and no one could hear me. I didn’t want to click the link. My finger hovered over the link as I tried to will myself not to click it. Not to read it. But I knew I had to. I needed to. I could not let his death go as a blip on my social media feed. I had to know the details. Had to absorb this truth that a 15-year-old boy was now dead. I clicked the link and read through the details. Very few were given at that time but as the hours went by more details surfaced. The police officer lied. His name not yet released because in this world we do not protect the innocent. We protect the murderer. The body cam footage did not show a car being used as a weapon. His brothers and friends saw smoke coming from the head of Jordan Edwards, who was murdered by a police officer with a rifle at 15 years old. Smoke coming from his head. The image of his smiling face now tainted with this ugly truth.
I didn’t read the comments. I knew the inevitable cries of “He should have complied,” “What was he doing at the party?” or “Why was he just existing?” would be there. I couldn’t handle that. Not this time. It was all so routine. The shooting. The lies. The press conference with the obligatory, “Don’t rush to judgment” pleas. The outrage. The hashtag. The R.I.P. shirts. The media attempting to vilify Jordan. Searching for any social media pictures that coincide with their way of making Black people animalistic and criminalistic. What evidence would they attempt to dig up that Jordan was a “thug worthy of being murdered at 15”? Then it comes out that he had “good grades” as if those that do not deserve their fate in America. That they deserve their lot in life to be the usual suspect murdered with no regard.
I do not know if I have it in me to go through this again. In this fight we bury sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers we have never known. We mourn men and women we have never known. We shed tears for boys and girls we have never known. We place their pictures on t-shirts, hoodies and prom dresses vowing to remember. We chant their last words like prayers that keep falling on deaf ears. We wait for justice that never comes. We bury a little bit of ourselves each time a headline comes across our phones, TVs or computers. Pieces of my heart are buried in Florida, New York, Louisiana, California, Texas. Sprinkled across this country like a blood offering for peace that we never find.
His name was Jordan Edwards. A 15-year-old boy. Murdered by the police. He died from a gunshot wound to his head. Jordan Edwards died as smoke came from his head. And the world as we know it keeps right on turning.
Featured Photo: Jordan Edwards Mesquite Independent School District