It is sorrowful day for many in the Cleveland, Ohio area and perhaps for everyone around the world.
A video surfaced on Easter Sunday of a shooting of an elderly black man (Robert Godwin, Sr.) by a younger black man (Steve W. Stephens) who went missing afterwards and could be anywhere in America at this time armed and dangerous.
The Washington Post writes:
Authorities said Monday that the suspect, identified by police as 37-year-old Steve W. Stephens, is still at large amid a manhunt that began in Ohio and spread to five states before expanding into a national search. By afternoon, authorities were offering up to $50,000 for information leading to his arrest.
“Steve if you’re out there listening, call someone — whether it’s a friend or family member or pastor — give them a call; they’re waiting for you to call them,” Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams pleaded with Stephens at an afternoon news conference.
So what exactly happened and why? The article continues:
Authorities said Stephens pulled up in his Ford Fusion on a road in east Cleveland about 2 p.m. Sunday and then said in the video: “I found somebody I’m about to kill.”
“I’m about to kill this guy right here. He’s an old dude,” Stephens said as he approached Robert Godwin Sr., who was reportedly out looking for aluminum cans to collect.
“Can you do me a favor?” Stephens said to Godwin before asking him to say the name Joy Lane.
“Joy Lane?” Godwin responded.
“Yeah,” Stephens replied. “She’s the reason why this is about to happen to you.”
The video showed him ask Godwin how old he was, raise a gun and pull the trigger. The camera spun around; when the picture came into focus, Godwin was on the ground.
It all lasted less than a minute, and authorities said the two men did not know each other.
So what happened next?
In the video, Stephens claimed to have killed more than a dozen people, police said, although they have not confirmed any other victims. Authorities have issued a warrant on a charge of aggravated murder for Stephens.
In a second video, Stephens is seen on his cellphone, telling someone to go online to watch the footage.
“I can’t talk to you right now. I f—– up, man,” he said.
“I shamed myself,” he added in a video posted by Cleveland.com. “I snapped. Dog, I just snapped, dog. I just snapped. I just killed 13 motherf——, man. That’s what I did — I killed 13 people. And I’m about to keep killing until they catch me, f— it. … I’m working on 14 as we speak.”
Why though? According to Stephens, it was due to a woman named Joy Lane. Plus, he mentioned on his now-deleted Facebook page that he lost everything while gambling and court records show that he faced other financial problems. While he said that he killed over a dozen people, police say that it has not been confirmed. Stephens did demand, however, to speak to two women, including his mother or he might kill again.
On that note, I want to ask that you do not post the video of the murder in the comments. I also don’t want anyone to blame Joy Lane for the actions of this killer.
People everywhere, on social media especially, expressed their condolences to the family and friends of Robert Godwin, Sr. while simultaneously inquiring about the whereabouts of his killer Steve Stephens while condemning his actions. It should go without saying that some of them concerned are black people. But when news broke out about the shooting, conservatives and all-around assholes took no time in questioning and mocking Black Lives Matter.
I guess it’s too much to ask for time to mourn and heal without getting black shamed.
The movement, and to a certain extent the black community, is expected to condemn this and other crime by black people as if black people haven’t done so already. We’re also expected to do something about our criminal problem, also as if we haven’t done anything or haven’t done enough. Lastly, we’re assumed that we don’t care enough about such tragedies, like we get up and celebrate when we’ve harmed or murdered another human being.
To those willing to rub salt into the wound, let me say that black people who are aware of this and other crimes are saddened. We mourn for the friends and families of victims of senseless violence. We have been working hard to deter crime in our neighborhoods while at the same time have been fighting systematic violence against us. We’re not ignorant. We don’t have one-track minds. We’re not morally deprived as to sit back and do nothing. And we have nothing to prove to lowlifes taking more time condemning a movement than expressing their sympathies.
Also, black people killing other black people is no excuse for other people to kill us.
Bottom line. We want this killer found. And we want him to pay as we would anyone else. Whether they’re wearing plain clothes or carrying a badge, we want the violence to end. Period.
UPDATE: The man known as the ‘Facebook Killer’ committed suicide in Erie, Pennsylvania. AP reports:
The man who randomly gunned down a Cleveland retiree and posted video of the crime on Facebook killed himself Tuesday during a police chase in Pennsylvania that began when a McDonald’s drive-thru attendant recognized him.
It marked a violent end to the nearly 48-hour multistate manhunt for Steve Stephens, whose case brought another round of criticism down on Facebook over how responsibly it polices objectionable material posted by users.
Click here to read the rest of this article for more details.