• Jamila Wardak

For Stephon Clark may he rest in paradise

I had an interesting conversation with a wonderful woman on the phone while I was trying to apply for Medical today. (I thought I might give it a shot because at this point I have nothing left to loose now that I am officially unemployed.) She told me about how scary it is to grow up in a place like Oakland. How even at five years old she had to worry about shots fired into homes. Can you imagine being so scared for your child’s life that you make them lie down on their stomachs on the floor while they are doing their homework? That just put a whole lot of perspective into the situation for me.

Being black in America is such a terrifying thing in this day in age. There is an abundance of unreported incidences involving injustice to so many black-Americans all over the states. One that she personally shed a light on in our conversation today was that of Stephon Clark. The 22-year old father of two who was mistakenly shot in the backyard of his grandmothers home in Sacramento, CA. I went back and re-read the reports and I instantly felt grief for him and his family.

There were reports of break-ins that led to the 9-11 call that night .”The caller stated that the male subject had broken car windows and was now hiding in a backyard,” the report said. “The caller described the subject as a male … wearing a black hoodie and dark pants.” Stephon was in the backyard of his grandmothers home when police had shown up. The police believed an “object” was pointed at them before they took action. The officer also thought he was shot by Clark because of a flash of light that reflected off his uniform. “… At which time I looked and based on the light coming off of … my tactical light — it appeared I thought that he had already shot at me because I saw what I believed to be a metallic reflection or muzzle flash — something coming at me,” Mercadal said. “I was scared. I thought that he had shot at me. I think I remember yelling, ‘Gun.'” Instead, Clark was just trying to document the injustice. The “object” that they thought was a firearm was actually his cellphone.

The worst part of this story other than his grandmother having to witness this happen in her backyard after being shot eight times by police unnecessarily was the fact that there were no charges filed against the officers who shot him. It was considered a form of self-defense even though Clark didn’t even have a weapon or firearm on him during the entire incident.

The universe will allow you to cross paths with some incredible souls that will end up teaching you something you needed to know at that particular moment of time. Today’s lesson is value every second you have on this planet because you never know what’s gonna happen. Also, you need to stand up for what you believe in because we live in a democracy. We are given a voice here so let it be known. I admire those who protested this particular injustice and if I could go back in time I would take a stand and march alongside his family and friends. I can only hope that one day stories like Stephon’s and many others will contribute to change that we desperately need right now. May he rest in peace.


#california #writing #racist #tragedy #shooting #blackhistory #racism #justice #injustice #faith #stephonclark #oakland #poetry #opinion #news #travelblog #currentevents

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