Nakia Jones has gone viral for a video in which the 37-year-old police officer delivered an impassioned takedown of the Alton shooting and a call for the black community to “put the guns down” and “stand together.”
Sterling was reportedly selling CDs in a parking lot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when police responded to a call of a man who had gotten into an argument and allegedly threatened someone with a gun. Although it did not capture the start of the incident, a video went viral this week showing police officers pinning Sterling to the ground and opening fire, shooting him several times as he lay on the ground. Sterling died of his wounds.
The shooting has sparked controversy nationwide, and police officer Nakia Jones was among those outraged at the shooting. The Ohio woman voiced her opinion in a Facebook video posted on Wednesday, saying that not all police officers defend the actions.
Jones, a member of the Warrensville Heights Police Department, said she watched the video of Alton Sterling’s death many times and said was disturbed at the racist undertones.
“How dare you stand next to me in the same uniform and murder somebody! How dare you! You ought to be ashamed of yourself! So, why don’t we just keep it real? If you’re that officer that knows good and well you’ve got a God complex, you’re afraid of people that don’t look like you, you have no business in that uniform! Take it off! If you’re afraid to go and talk to an African American female or a male, or a Mexican male or female because they’re not white like you, take the uniform off! You have no business being a police officer, because there’s many of us that would give our life for anybody! We took this oath and we meant it! If you are that officer that’s prejudice, take the uniform off and put the KKK hoodie on because I will not stand for that!”
Ironically, within hours of Nakia Jones uploading the video to Facebook and it starting to go viral, another controversial shooting would take place a few states over. In Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, a police officer shot and killed Philando Castile in an incident captured on video by Castile’s girlfriend.
In the video, Castile sat in the driver’s seat of his car, bleeding and close to death while his girlfriend pleaded with the officer who had shot him. The woman, identified as Diamond Reynolds, claimed that her boyfriend had been complying with the officer’s orders and was reaching for his driver’s license when the officer opened fire.
Castile’s death sparked immediate protests both in Minnesota — where a group of protesters gathered outside of the governor’s mansion in the middle of the night — and nationwide. His death may have also played a role in the video from Nakia Jones going viral. As WKYC reported, there was a surge in videos for the video in the hours after Castile’s shooting.
But Nakia’s video seemed to transcend the Alton Sterling shooting, delivering a message not only to police officers but to the black community.
“My heart goes out to that young man’s family, because if it was my son I don’t know what I would do. But to my brothers and sisters, my juvenile brothers and sisters, I am your keeper. Put them guns down, y’all. We’re killing each other. The reason why all this racist stuff keeps going on is because we’re divided. We’re killing each other, we’re not standing together. See, Martin Luther King and them stood together. You didn’t hear about a bunch of black people killing each other. We’ve got to stand together because a house divided against each other will not stand. We gotta be smart. Don’t mean going tearing up stuff. Be smart.”
The plea seems to have resonated well nationwide — the video from Nakia Jones now has close to three million total views.
[Image via Facebook]