Friday, January 27, 2017

Prince Jones

Prince Jones plays a not insignificant part in Between the World and Me, this month's book club book. I was living and working in DC back in 2000 when he was shot and killed by PG County police. The killing dominated news in DC for quite a while, so I thought I'd go back and dig up some of the stories for context. The one I recall best is this article from the Washington City Paper, the DC alternative weekly. That article is contemporaneous with the shooting. A year later, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote this article for the Washington Monthly, in which he takes a deeper look at policing in PG County. Finally, two years after the incident, the City Paper published an additional article with significant new facts gleaned from depositions given by the police officers involved in the shooting. Read together, it's a deeply depressing catalog of race and policing that underscores what I take to be Coates' pessimism about whether America will ever accord black men equal respect, both culturally and legally.

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