The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) is the premiere mass-based coalition of organizations and individuals organized for the sole purpose of…
By Scotty Reid
Jackson, Tennessee police officer Raymond Dewayne will not be facing any charges after a grand jury failed to indict him for killing a despondent Cinque D’Jahspora who was experiencing some sort of mental or emotional break down on November 6, 2014. The dash-cam video released by the police department does show Cinque D’Jahspora throwing a hammer at officer Raymond Dewayne after the officer attempted to stop the young man who was walking alone on the side of a street. Officer Raymond Dewayne was responding to calls about a person causing a disturbance in front of an apartment building where Cinque D’Jahspora lived. Officer Dewayne said that the young man “fit the description”. What kind of “disturbance” that allegedly occurred prompting a 911 call is not apparent.
According to L’Sana D’Jahspora, the deceased’s father, and family friends, Cinque D’Jahspora was quiet and somewhat introverted who liked video games and was studying to be a programmer. There are reports that his autopsy revealed a drug in his system that is used to treat a mental disorder. Whatever set Cinque D’Jahspora off that day that he felt he needed to arm himself with a hammer and a kitchen knife is unknown. Was he threatened by someone, was he on medication, was he in fear for his life when approached by Officer Raymond Dewayne? These questions remain somewhat unanswered but from what we can see in the video, Cinque D’Jahspora was clearly distressed on his last day alive.
However, did Jackson Police officer Raymond Dewayne go too far in killing the young aspiring video programmer who was apparently having a bad day to say the least? While we can not confirm that Cinque D’Jahspora was being treated for any kind of mental or emotional impairment, people with known mental impairments are among those gunned down by police officers for simply possessing butter knives and screw drivers.
Officer Raymond Dewayne showed great restraint in not shooting Cinque D’Jahspora after the hammer is thrown and after the initial contact, it is alleged that Cinque D’Jahspora stabbed him in the shoulder with a short kitchen knife when the two are seen struggling. However, it is hard to see in the video if in fact Raymond Dewayne is stabbed, as the video is dark. Another view that has been enhanced supposedly to add lighting to the video and you can clearly see that the officer was much bigger and stronger than Cinque D’Jahspora. What is troubling is that after Officer Raymond Dewayne shoved the young man to the ground with one arm while still pointing his handgun at him; a second officer can be seen rushing at Cinque. Ii is at this point you hear someone yell “he’s got a knife” at the same time Officer Dewayne is shooting the victim who is still on the ground on his stomach. The family and their attorney say that the medical records show Cinque D’Jahspora was shot in the upper back.
Another troubling aspect of the video released by the Jackson Police is that the officers editing the video can be heard saying, “You see him get up right there”. I am not one to casually throw accusations around but to release a video with editors adding commentary is suspect to say the least. Was it done to persuade the public into believing something they did not see by planting the image in their minds via the extra commentary? Was all the commentary heard on parts of the video added in postproduction?
Also, why is some of the dash cam footage from separate patrol cars on the scene much, much clearer than the portion that shows the officer taking aim and shooting Cinque D’Jahspora which gives the appearance of a different time of day because of the lighting difference?
These are some of the questions we must ask but one last question, if a person is only allegedly armed with a “knife” and not able to physically overpower two officers, why was it necessary to Cinque D’Jahspora in the back when he was already down on the ground?
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