By Cheryl Smith
Jonathan Price has become another hashtag. I listened to his mother’s cries and my heart felt heavy. We’ve heard the cries too many times. TOO MANY!
Which brings me to my truth.
According to reports, an altercation between a man and woman occurred in Wolfe City, Texas, north of Dallas, and Mr. Price intervened, attempting to diffuse the situation. Shaun Lucas, a 22-year-old police officer who has been on the job less than a year, arrived on the scene, and the result: another Black man is dead. Many agree that Mr. Wright did nothing that warranted him being killed. Atty. Lee Merritt wrote on social media, “When police arrived, I’m told; he raised his hands and attempted to explain what was going on. Police fired tasers at him and when his body convulsed from the electrical current, they ‘perceived a threat’ and shot him to death.”
Mr. Merritt wants the video released. Mr. Price’s cousin appeared on KHVN-AM’s Community Forum with Robert Ashley and I had the privilege of co-hosting the show and talking with the grieving family member. I could hear the pain in Terrance Wright’s voice as he talked about the Jonathan Price he knew and loved. “It doesn’t make any sense,” said Mr. Wright. “Jonathan was loved. He was a good man. He loved everybody. He loved kids and wanted kids to be like him.” Mr. Wright’s voice cracked as he talked about a date that was on his cousin’s calendar.
Their grandmother was celebrating a birthday and Mr. Wright was taking her out for a special birthday celebration. No one in the family is celebrating right now. But people have taken to the streets once again. And yes, the officer has been arrested and charged with murder. Still, no celebrating, because guess what? The Wright family is planning a funeral for a 31-year-old man who many referred to as a “hometown hero.”
A city employee and trainer, Mr. Wright did not deserve to die. He joins a long list of men and women murdered and his mom, Ms. Marcella Louis, joins an equally long list of mothers who know a pain they wouldn’t wish on anyone else. Despite the pain and stressful times that we are dealing with, we must all remain focused and vigilant. We must persevere. We must pray, march, and challenge. Yes, we will get tired and we will get frustrated; but we must keep the pressure on. We must keep stressing that Black Lives Matter. We must vote. Oh, there is so much we must do and there’s something for everyone to do. Rather than look to others, or criticize what others are doing, we each need to be doing all we can, because should we ever find ourselves in need of support; we’ll never be alone.