On the afternoon of Tuesday, May 29, 31-year-old Sherell L. Lewis Jr. stopped his vehicle on the side of a highway near Pickering, Louisiana to remove debris from the road. Lewis was then hit by 18-year-old Matthew M. Martin in a 2003 Chevrolet pickup, and he died at an Alexandria hospital later that day. Sadly, the day of his day death was also his 31st birthday. Sgt. James Anderson told the New York Post, Lewis was doing a good deed by removing debris so other motorists would not hit it.
Matthew M. Martin was not injured. However, it is Martin’s disgusting social media posts that have outraged the nation.
In a Snapchat image that went viral, Martin and another person were messaging about the accident. Martin showed a serious disregard for human life and appears joyful as he refers to Lewis, who was killed in the accident, as “some nigger.” See below:
Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft said in a statement, “I am appalled at the content of the social media messages that were posted after the incident. This post is unacceptable and has no place in our society. The inflammatory words that were used were morally wrong. I have the utmost confidence in the Louisiana State Police and their ability to thoroughly investigate this incident. I encourage any citizen who has information regarding the accident to contact the Louisiana State Police.” However, he did add that “the post did not violate criminal law.”
Lewis, who was a barber, was an active member of his community and said to be “at every event, school function, games, graduation, all that.” His sister, Shotoya Lewis-Ayers, told KPLC, “If you were feeling down, he would always make jokes, crack you up, keep you smiling. He loved what he did. That’s including the barbering and touching people’s lives.”
People on social media have used the hashtag #JusticeforRell, hoping there willl be a thorough investigation into him death. Considering the 18-year-old showed a psychotic and racist dismissal of a human life, every scenario should be examined, including whether he was under the influence or if he intentionally killed Lewis.
Our thoughts go out to everyone affected by this tragedy.