Social justice activist Tamika Mallory was among those to respond to the question Safaree Samuels raised on Twitter about whether or not the Black community is selective when it comes to outrage in response to unjust killings.
In a tweet shared April 19, the reality TV star called into question the level of anger and justice demanded for 7-year-old Jaslyn Adams, who was gunned down in a Chicago McDonald’s drive-thru on April 18, when compared to the slayings of Black people by police.
“7 year old shot and killed and it wasn’t by a police officer so what’s the next step?” he asked. “Who do we hold accountable?? Or do we pick and choose when we stand together??? Disgusting!!!!!”
Adams was in the car with her father, 29-year-old Jontae Adams, when two men jumped out of another car, ran over, and began firing over 50 shots into the vehicle as Jaslyn and her father waited in the drive-thru. After life-saving efforts proved unsuccessful, Jaslyn was pronounced dead at a hospital where her father remains in serious condition. According to local reports, police believe the shooting to be gang-related.
Mallory suggested that Samuels turn his questions into action and direct his concern to local anti-violence advocates. “Hey Safaree, perhaps you should reach out to anti-violence advocates in Chicago & across the nation who need our support,” she responded. “They do the work everyday but don’t receive the attention and funding they need.”
She also disputed him on the notion that violence within Black communities is being ignored, adding, “There’s a great deal being done to stop violence in our communities. #tragic.”
Other Twitter users chimed in to express their annoyance toward Safaree by suggesting it’s a foregone conclusion that the child’s killer will be brought to justice, unlike in unjust slayings committed by police. “Are [you] being obtuse and dumb on purpose or is this an act?” asked one follower. “Because they will find and arrest someone for the baby’s shooting and whoever they arrest goes to jail. Cops shoot and hide behind qualified immunity and there’s no punishment or anything.”
Another commenter pointed out the efforts that Black communities take to stand against violence within their own backyards. “I hate how people act like we don’t rally against violence in EVERY form the walks, the end guns violence protests, the community vigils, internet support. The point is the awful person who killed her WILL be held accountable which is not always so for these cops.”
Many users pointed out that any perceived difference in public response could be attributed to the duty of a cop, which should be to protect and serve, and the fact that most of their crimes perpetrated against Black people go unpunished.
“A community killing and someone killing a person of the community when their job is to protect them is 2 completely different things that you’re comparing! It’s the cops job to pursue the killer and the community’s job to hold everyone involved accountable for their actions,” one social media user said, without clarifying whether “the community” has outright vigilantism at its disposal in response holding “everyone involved accountable.”
“Gun violence and police brutality are two different fights,” another commenter replied. “Stop trying to make it the same fight.”
Someone else suggested that both were wrong, “Bro justice ain’t served because tomorrow it’s going to be another kid. We gotta cracking down on our own for this shit the way we do police. Idc about their jail time because that’s another fight to make sure whatever they get is just. We gotta stop this shit in general.”
Detectives are still investigating the details of the Adams’ case and have no suspects in custody at the time of this writing.