Travis Jordan had been living with a friend, Paul Johnson, and his wife at their home in Minneapolis until Friday last week. That was when Johnson became concerned for his friend’s mental wellbeing, and called the cops to do a wellness check on him. Sadly, the intervention of the police ended in unthinkable tragedy as yet another man lost his life to a police shooting.
According to The Root, Johnson’s concern stemmed from the fact that 36-year-old Jordan had been suffering from depression and anxiety, but had not been taking any medication for his issues. In his call to 911 dispatch on Friday afternoon, he explained that Jordan was instead trying to drink his troubles away.
Somehow, instead of checking on the man whose friend was so concerned about his health, the police who responded to the call fired multiple shots, killing Jordan on the front lawn of Johnson’s home.
Following his terrible death, Johnson questioned the entire operation, starting with their adverse and violent reaction to his friend.
“Why are tasers not pulled out? Why is that not what’s in their hand? Why is the lethal form of de-escalating the situation and ending it in their hands and not all the other ways that could’ve been done?”
Maybe I’m judgemenal.— William J Jackson (@WilliamJJack) November 13, 2018
but in 2018, after years of Facebook live, periscope, tweets in real time, Instagram videos, and social media coverage of on the spot police brutality?
After Jordan was killed, police claimed he had been brandishing a knife, but the transcript from Johnson’s 911 call assured them he was totally unarmed. And yet, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner concluded that the African-American man had died from multiple gunshot wounds.
According to John Elder, the spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department, the responding officers’ body cameras were turned on at the time of the shooting, but the footage has not publicly been released. According to Elder, all active officers are trained to be able to diffuse wellness calls should the person become aggressive. Both of the officers have been placed on administrative leave since the shooting.
Dispatch was also informed that Jordan knew the police were being called to check up on him.
“He doesn’t want to live, he doesn’t even think about his future anymore,” Johnson said during the call. “I told him I was gonna call the cops, ’cause I was really worried about him, and he threatened me and said go ahead and call the cops, I’ll talk to them when they get here.”
Johnson also shared that Jordan’s suicidal tendencies had reached a point when he had asked friends via text message to help him source a gun to use. When Johnson confronted him about the messages, Jordan promised him he wouldn’t do it.