“I never got that kind of energy from the po-po,” Johnathan Price wrote, concerning officers. From his experiences, he claimed, he never got bad treatment from police. He urged Black people to judge by their own experiences, not everyone else’s. Johnathan defend cops. Ironically, it was his belief in police, his trust in police that ultimately got him killed.
Recently, it came to light that cops murdered Price after responding to a call in which Price was assaulted while trying to break up a domestic dispute. When cops came, they attempted to arrested Price, though Price wasn’t the culprit. At some point, Price went to shake an officer’s hand. The officer tased Price, and when Price’s body convulsed from the jolt, the officer shot him four times.
Normally, I would be up in arms about this. How is an innocent, unarmed man gunned down by the police for trying to break up a fight? The weirdest part of this story is that the officer claimed to have shot Price because Price began jerking from being electrocuted. What? Who trained this guy? Who hired him? What’s his record look like as a cop? Normally, the senseless murder of another Black men by cops would have aggravated me. I would protest, scream his life matters, push for change. But that’s not what Price would have wanted.
Price believed in cops, in the system, in the process. He denied white privilege, Black oppression by cops and the ailments that sickened police departments. He chose to promote a narrative that denied any trace of systemic racism. He never protested. He never believed Black men were targets. Price was just the male version of Candace Owens.
So, like a tragic but distant car crash, I’ll shake my head. I’ll wish Price the best. But I won’t protest for him or call out racism. I won’t stand up for him. I won’t be his voice, because nothing happened to him that hasn’t happened to people whom he denied.
*Jermaine Reed, MFA is a writer from Chicago who writes fiction, local news stories and national news stories. Please join his email list to get updates on blog posts, writing advice and free books. Get my recently released Science Fiction novel A Glitch in Humanity by clicking here.