An astounding 960 people have been killed by police so far this year. From time to time, something truly unpredictable happens with some of those cases — propelling them from local stories of heartache to national tales of outrage.
Such is the case of Florida’s Corey Jones.
Rallies, marches, and prayer services have been held all week in the wake of his death and the Rev. Al Sharpton is scheduled to meet with Jones’ family later this week.
Tragically, Sharpton has helped walk nearly one hundred families facing similar circumstances through the difficult early days of such a loss. While he may a public lightning rod for some, his decades of experience in this area can be a calming force during an overwhelming time of grief and media attention. Once seen primarily as a protestor, Sharpton is now much more apt to serve as a private advisor.The shooting of Jones, a popular church musician, by a Florida police officer hit a lot of us particularly hard.
For a living, I wade through hundreds of stories of police brutality every single day and am tasked with finding one or two stories to tell. Immediately, Corey’s life and death resonated with me. I’ve been a pastor for most of the past 20 years and have come to know, love, and trust so many church musicians. Some of my very best friends are church drummers. It’s a close knit community.
Before Corey’s story ever hit the national news, several of his fellow church musicians wrote me to share not only his amazing musical gifts, but how he was a standup guy. One musician told me that when Corey didn’t show up for church on Sunday, and couldn’t be reached by phone, he knew something was critically wrong. Corey had an impeccable reputation for keeping his word.
Without fail, every person I contacted had known him for at least 10 years and all said he was the most relaxed, respectable, chilled-out guy they knew. I’ve talked to classmates of his from elementary, middle, and high school.
I’ve talked to his co-workers at the housing authority, pastors, musicians, doctors, nurses — and every single person expressed anger that they’d been robbed.
Source: New York Daily News | Shaun King