Wednesday, March 9, 2016

While You Were Sleeping: Jamal Gaines

On February 26th Jamal Gaines was shot and killed at a store he owned and ran called East Coast Kickz in Rahway, New Jersey. It bugs me that I didn't hear about this. I didn't know the kid or anything but even though I avoid the news things like Black guys being shot and killed usually make it into my news feeds online somehow. Sadly if its by the hands of police, not each other.

A bit after the store was closed two armed men posing as police officers entered holding guns. Tina Wilson, Gaines' mother, described it as such. “The guy pushed his arm and put the gun to his head, so my son threw a drink on the guy with the gun and ran toward him, and the second guy shot him.” The then ran through an alley and escaped. She also said that someone had been threatening him and his sister. The store will remain open.

At the memorial service for her son Wilson said “Today is a big celebration. No sadness or tears or cries. I don't want his death to go in vain, with nothing coming out of it. It happened for a reason. It's time to wake up and do better.”

Like I said above, I am bothered that I didn't hear about this. Yeah, its all the way across the country but this bugs me because he seemed like a good dude. 21 years old and opened his own business while working at another to have enough to invest and then own it after selling his own shoe collection, a car accident at 18, and blindness in one eye. That's fucking crazy and ambitious. To me a shooting is a shooting and this should have gotten just as much if not more attention and hashtags as when someone is killed or attacked by police. You can't pick and choose.

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