I sat there and watched him. Just like I had so many other times. So many other days. He left just like he always did. From the front door down the six marble steps, and to his black Jeep Liberty parked across the street from the St. Louis Metropolitian Police Station.
It was worth the extra money I paid the private eye for. Jeffrey Daniel Lloyd. Age 30. Son of Harrison and Joanna Lloyd. Birthday: September 20, 1985. I had bras older than him.
He killed my son. My youngest son. I had gotten two of my boys out of this damn city. I had told them how to talk to these murderers, these officers with licenses to kill and penises smaller than the guns they whipped at people. Like my son, like my Maurry. What could he have done to have a grown man shoot my boy? Me and Randall’s do-over baby. We were going to do everything right. Get the crib just right. Make all the appointments.
We were going to not work as much. We would make more time for each other. We have 4 children. Had 4. I keep forgetting Maurry. But can’t forget him. He had my Daddy’s eyes and his deep laugh. Maurice Randall Jacobs. Born July 8, 2000. Attending Hazelwood Central High School. Athlete. Artist. Born 7lbs, 10 oz…a whole week early. He was born ready. Doing everything early.
He walked early.
He talked early.
He wanted to go to school with his older sister, Melody. He couldn’t stand thinking he couldn’t do something. We had The Talk with him four years before when he was 12. I had to tell my baby, whom was bright and strong, the police may target him for all types of social ills because he was now old enough to fit a description.
We had to tell him to pull his pants up. Keep his hair cut. No hoodies. “I don’t wanna be crying over you like Trayvon’s mama.” I told him to start looking at colleges. It was his Junior year at Hazelwood Central. His father and I told him how to to get out of state tuition. We were finagling a college tour. “Ma! Don’t worry about it.” Maurry told me. “I’ll do UNC-Chapel Hill.” He smiled his Daddy’s smile at me. With that red Washington University hoodie. The one I told Melody not to get him. I didn’t want him to be a target. I never wanted him to ‘fit a description.’
Now he was gone. In that damn red sweatshirt. The sweatshirt and cold November night when Officer Lloyd was chasing someone else’s child, who probably didn’t do anything. Lost him, found my son; told him to freeze in the alley in the Shaw Neighborhood. Down the street from Mullanphy Elementary. He pulled a gun on him. His hands were up. He shot him because his cell phone was in his hands. He was on the phone with his girlfriend, Michelle.
We had met her last week at ta function her church had. He froze and he still died. In that damned shirt. For a year I waited. I waited to go to work. Waited to talk to officers. Waited politely like my Mama told me when answering while angry in a room full of folk you were smarter than—but weren’t Black: Yes, sir. No, sir. I don’t know.
I waited for my kids to get home from school breaks. My husband home from work. I waited for the pain killers to work. Extra shifts at BJC to open. I waited for settlement money. I waited for now Sgt. Jeffery Daniel Lloyd to die. All 5’10”, 175 pounds of him to leave the world. That’s what I prayed for. Was patiently waiting for God to answer.
I sat there. In my rented car watching him smooth his dark hair and jacket at the bottom of the stairs. I rolled my window down. I checked the time on my cell phone. November 9, 7:12 pm. The day he took my son from me. I grabbed the gun from my workbag and opened the door. I exhaled my breath to the night air. Open my eyes, walking across the street and fired at him until I saw him fall and the white woman he spoke to scream and run back inside.
This is a complete work of fiction. But remember this the next time there is a Black child murdered by the police and you say nothing.
“Didn’t you see what they did to me? Why didn’t you say anything?”
And he faded away.
It’s a traffic stop.
Remember this the next time Black people tell you why they fear the police.