Say Their Names.

In the midst of all the chaos happening in the United States right now I want to take a moment and pay tribute to those who have been wronged and share their stories. Racism is serious and it won’t stop until we take a stand. Rather than continue to post and cry I am writing this article to commemorate those that have passed and bring some perspective to these horrific incidents.

 

Trayvon Benjamin Martin - February 26, 2012. 17 years old. Trayvon was murdered by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman was a neighborhood watch coordinator who frequently called police to complain about Black males acting suspiciously in the neighborhood. On February 26, 2012 Trayvon Martin was walking through the neighborhood when Zimmerman called the non-emergency line to report that he looked suspicious and that there had been some break-ins recently. Zimmerman also informed the dispatcher that he believed Trayvon could be “on drugs.”  There was no evidence to support that assumption. Trayvon and Zimmerman allegedly got into an altercation and Zimmerman had a gun. When Trayvon turned his back Zimmerman shot and killed him from behind. Zimmerman went on trial for second degree murder but was ultimately released and didn’t face any charges. George Zimmerman still walks freely today.

 

Michael Lorenzo Dean - December 2, 2019. 28 years old. Wrongfully killed by officer Carmen DeCruz in Temple, Texas. Officer DeCruz pulled Michael over for speeding and it is unclear what happened between the time he was pulled over to the time when Decruz fired his weapon. DeCruz was given paid administration leave until evidence was gathered and he ultimately ended up being charged with manslaughter.

 

George Floyd  - May 25, 2020. 46 years old. Murdered by police for an alleged “bad check.” Floyd was shopping in Minneapolis, Minnesota when he was approached by an officer for being accused of using a bad check. He calmly cooperated and talked with the police and even let them cuff him. The next video released showed an officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck while three other officers held Floyd down. In this video it did not seem to show Floyd resisting at all but rather, pleading for his life. His last words were “I can’t breathe.” 

Each of these cases are sad and inhumane. None of these murders should have happened. I will fight until no more beautiful melanin bodies are laying on your grounds without reason. I will continue to fight with my friends for equality and to end police brutality. If you are still questioning why we are fighting by the end of this article I am afraid you may never understand. My name is Jalyssa Nazario and I am here to say: No justice, No peace.