Today, an innocent man was killed in Cleveland.
Although I haven’t tweeted in almost year, I still use Twitter as my go-to news source. This afternoon, as I checked my feed, I noticed quite a few of my old high school friends mentioning a man nicknamed “Stevie Steve.” Now, as I write this, major news outlets have published stories about him. The man’s real name is Steve Stephens, and today he committed an inexplicable act.
Stephens, a middle-aged African-American man, posted on Facebook live one of the most gut-wrenching videos I have ever seen. The video begins with him in his car, and he states, “found me somebody I’m going to kill, this guy right here, this old dude.” Stephens proceeds to get out of his car and approach an older African-American man. The man is on the street, holding a plastic bag. Stephens asks him a few questions before pulling out his gun and shooting the man, killing him instantly. Then, Stephens nonchalantly gets back in his car and drives away.
Again, Stephens shared this video on Facebook live. It remained up for almost three hours. He also posted another video in which he claims to have killed multiple people. Police have been searching the city in efforts to find him, and several areas are on lockdown.
I decided to watch the video of this murder despite warnings that it was graphic. It is without a doubt the most awful thing I have ever watched. The moment that Stephens shot this innocent man, I had to fight back tears. The man’s life was taken from him for absolutely no reason and no explanation. I feel for his family and his friends. I cannot comprehend how someone can do something so senseless.
I understand that this story does not directly relate to the history of policing, but I felt it’s one worth mentioning because it hits close to home for me. It is unfathomable that tragedies like this continue to occur in our country. I hope the police continue to do everything in their power and find Stephens before anything else happens. I hope my family, my friends and my city stay safe.