Something wasn’t right. Deeply concerned about the alarm going off at the neighbor’s house…the Good Samaritan raced to help. Picking up a gun for protection…the Good Samaritan ventured a few steps out of his house. Before the Good Samaritan was able to realize anything that was going on…shots rang out. The Good Samaritan collapsed on his own property. Before death could claim the Good Samaritan…the Samaritan’s last thought was a prayer that everyone else was ok. Even before the blood dried on the cement…the Fort Worth Police Department was doing all that they could to blame this instance of police brutality on the victim. In many ways… they got away with it…and we have been left to suffer the consequences.
This is the story of a white man. This is the story of an old white man. This is the story of a relatively wealthy white man. This is the story of Jerry Wayne Waller.
The location of the story was a place of affluence. The location of the story was full of neighbors with means. The location of the story was Woodhaven Country Club.
This is a story that does not fit with the narratives of other stories.
Regardless…the outcome was the same…
The events of May 28, 2013 did not garner any attention. There were no major protests. There were no heated council meetings. There were no tweets from famous people. There were no calls for reform. There were no clergy press conferences. There were no television specials. There were no vigils. There was no new legislation. There was nothing. There was only the dead body of Jerry Wayne Waller.
Where were we?
In life…Jerry Wayne Waller was unable to help his neighbor…but in death he could have saved another Good Samaritan…Atatiana Jefferson…if we had only listened.
I hope that we are smarter this time around.
Because history teaches us that no one is safe in Fort Worth.
Jerry Wayne Waller and Atatiana Jefferson stand in judgment of what we do next.