Each murder kills me a little bit more

KAREN E. QUINONES MILLER | 10/24/2019, 2:05 p.m.
Atatiana Jefferson’s death at the hands of Fort Worth police in the name of a “welfare check” is the latest ...
Atatiana Jefferson Facebook

Atatiana Jefferson’s death at the hands of Fort Worth police in the name of a “welfare check” is the latest in a far-too long list of heartbreaks. 

Early last Saturday morning, Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was killed by a Fort Worth police officer while home playing a video game with her 8-year-old nephew. 

Police shot her through the window, a split second after shouting at her to put her hands up, never identifying themselves.

Babysitting while Black?

The police were called to her house in order to do a wellness check.

A wellness check!

Her 8-year-old nephew,

whom she was babysitting,

witnessed the murder. 

According to Vice News, the child told police that when Jefferson saw lights being shined into her window, she grabbed the gun she was licensed to carry to go out and defend herself and her loved one.

Now, none of this crap is new to me. I’m 61 years old, and I have lived through businessman and community activist Arthur Miller being killed by Brooklyn police back in 1978 before many of you were born.

I have lived through the 1999 New York Police Department murder of Amadou Diallo.

I have lived through the murder of our young children—Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice—and Philando Castile, who like Jefferson was exercising his Second Amendment right to carry a gun when he was shot.

I screamed, marched, carried signs and wrote each time.

I come from a family deeply involved in the Black Liberation Movement so I’ve never been one to sit in silence while my community is being attacked.

But as I’ve gotten older—and have also suffered first from a brain tumor, and now Multiple Sclerosis—seeing members of my community killed by police or their surrogates has left me so very, very, very sad and drained.

As a warrior from birth, I continue to do what I can. Although I’m no longer out in the streets practicing daily journalism and informing the public about the injustices, I still try to highlight these things by connecting families with other journalists in high profile media outlets in order to help them get the word out.

So, neurological issues aside, I’ve always done what I can, and I think that is what has always helped me emotionally deal with all of the injustice. “At least I’m not just sitting around doing nothing,” I force my brain to reason.

That might take care of my brain, but my poor heart is hurting bad.

According to doctors, my heart is, physically, in great condition.

Yet every time—every single time —I hear about another injustice heaped upon my community by those who we are told are supposed to protect us I become so sad that my heart starts throbbing with excruciating pain.

It feels like a little sliver of the outer layer is stripped off with every murder.

The Fort Worth Police Department has torn away yet another piece.

A neighbor called the police, asking for a wellness check on Jefferson’s residence, when he noticed that her front door was wide-open in the middle of the night.