It’s been said in the Black community many times, but there’s always a new story popping up in our newsfeeds that proves it needs to be repeated: No amount of being an upstanding citizen will shield Black people from racism.
Justin Peoples was an outstanding citizen. He was a youth pastor, he worked two blue-collar delivery jobs, he was a Navy veteran, a husband, and a proud father of two. His father, Maurice Peoples, called him “a remarkable young man” who served his country. Unfortunately, none of that saved him from being shot and stabbed to death by alleged white supremacists who didn’t believe he deserved to live and breathe up all of their “whites only” air.
According to CBS News, 42-year-old Christine Garner and 49-year-old Jeremy Jones were arrested and charged with murder the morning after a March 15 incident they’re accused of committing a hate crime in killing Peoples, 30, at a Chevron gas station in Tracy, California.
According to police, Peoples was stabbed multiple times by Jones—who looks like every Aryan prison gang leader in every movie and TV show ever—after he was shot once by Garner, who looks like the “after” photo on an anti-drug poster. A third person, 58-year-old Christopher Dimenco, was charged with accessory to murder for allegedly helping the Klan-ish couple “avoid or escape” arrest.
“Investigators have not said what prompted the altercation, but in the complaint against Garner and Jones, prosecutors allege Peoples ‘was intentionally killed because of (Peoples’) race, color, religion, nationality, or country of origin,'” NBC reported.
Detailed photos released by the district attorney’s office in a news release revealed tattoos of a Swastika and the words “white power’ on the arm of one of the suspects.
“When community members are victims of crimes related to hate, we will use our resources to bring those responsible to justice,” said Tracy Police Chief Sekou Millington. “There is no room for hate in Tracy or anywhere.”
Of course, that’s the obligatory response city officials anywhere in America have to give. They have to say there’s “no room” for racism or hate crimes committed against Black people and people of color. But both the history and present in this country show us something different constantly. Peoples being attacked and killed like this in 2022 indicates that there’s still plenty of room. All we can hope is that there’s a little room left over for justice as well.