Family, friends and supporters of police violence victim Keith Childress, Jr. demand justice for his murder. His mother, Jacqueline Lawrence, lives in Phoenix, Arizona, which makes advocating for her son difficult, but she has started to meet other families impacted by police violence.
On December 31, 2015, Keith Childress, Jr., 23, father of three, was visiting Las Vegas for the New Year’s holiday. He was walking in a private neighborhood when he was shot five times in broad daylight by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. Police were acting on a sham call from U.S. Marshals that Childress was an armed and dangerous fugitive wanted for attempted murder. Off of this false information, the police pursued Childress and apprehended him. While Childress did have an open court case, he was neither armed and dangerous nor wanted for attempted murder. Within seconds of making contact, Childress was shot several times. The police claim they thought he was armed, but Childress only had his cell phone in his hand. After police shot him, the K-9 unit released dogs onto Childress, tearing up his backside. The surrounding area where the police shot Childress was badly damaged. The garage door of the driveway where Childress fell needed to be replaced and several parked cars endured collateral damage. To this day, bullet holes can be seen on the side of the house. While no criminal charges were filed, the mother of Childress, Jacqueline Lawrence, has filed a civil lawsuit against the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police for his wrongful death.
Nissa Tzun Bio: Nissa D. Tzun is a media artist, educator, community organizer, and the co-founder of the Forced Trajectory Project, an award-winning, media, public relations and advocacy organization illuminating the narratives of families impacted by police murder, established in 2009. In 2014 she assisted in forming Families United 4 Justice, a nationwide collective of families impacted by police murder, organizing for collective power. Currently, Nissa works as a media consultant for the Mass Liberation Project, a decarceration project focused on ending mass incarceration in Nevada and beyond, as a podcast producer for the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at UNLV, a communications fellow for Community Change and is pursuing her Master’s in Social Work and Master's in Journalism & Media Studies. She is a three-time Davis Putter Scholar and was recognized as the Jesse Lloyd O'Connor Scholar for the academic year of 2019-2020.
Photo credit: Aberdeen Proving Ground via Flickr Creative Commons Originally published on The Huffington Post. In our Fort Wayne neighborhood, Halloween is a serious candy free-for-all. We bought 12 […]